Why Does Whey Protein Contain a Small Amount of Soy Lecithin?

Protein Powder

Lecithin is a popular ingredient known for its ability to bind substances together, resulting in a uniform consistency when blending. Numerous foods contain lecithin, one of which is whey protein. So, why does whey protein contain a small amount of soy lecithin?

In general, lecithin like the kind from National Lecithin is added to whey protein powder to prevent the powder from becoming clumpy. It has a preservative effect; therefore, it slows down the process of product deterioration and increases its longevity on store shelves. To prevent the artificial flavorings, sweeteners, as well as other additives that are generally present in flavored and sweetened protein products from separating into their components, it is used as an emulsifier, which is a kind of mixing agent.

Eggs, sunflower seeds, and a wide variety of other foods all have their unique lecithins that may be extracted and used. All of these different materials are used in processed meals for essentially the same reason and function, which is to serve as a thickening. This is true for the vast majority of the time.

Lecithins, on account of the large amount of fat that they contain, can give meals that would not normally have a more palatable and creamy consistency. However, the widespread use of soy lecithin might be attributed to the fact that it is much less expensive than other lecithins on the market.

Is Soy Lecithin in Protein Powder Good?

Soy protein includes phytoestrogens. The phytosterol content of soy lecithin is because it is derived from soy oil, which itself is a source of phytosterols. As a consequence, estrogenic effects might be shown in the body of a person who consumes soy lecithin. One independent laboratory study of soy lecithin showed the presence of the phytoestrogen’s beta-sitosterol, campesterol, as well as stigmasterol.

These phytosterols were formerly used by the pharmaceutical industry in the production of human sex hormones. The instantiation of whey protein powder is now often accomplished with the help of soy lecithin, which is used by major whey protein producers. The body’s endocrine system gets upset as a result of the phytosterols included in soy lecithin.

There are several similarities between phytosterols and the isoflavones that are present in soy protein (genistein and daidzein). Even more concerning is the fact that the phytosterols that may be found in soy lecithin have structural similarities to the artificial estrogen diethylstilbestrol. As a result, the levels of estrogen, as well as testosterone in your system, may change as a result of consuming soy lecithin.

Types of Lecithin Used in Whey Protein Powder

In the production of whey protein powder, both soy lecithin and sunflower lecithin are used as sources of lecithin. Whey protein powder almost always contains soy lecithin, which is a specific kind of lecithin. On the other hand, some individuals do not want to include any kind of soy in their diet owing to worries over the estrogenic effects that soy may have or since they are allergic to soy. Additionally, others want to steer clear of foods that include genetically modified organisms (GMOs), since the majority of the soy produced in the United States is genetically modified.

Liquid sunflower lecithin, derived from sunflower seeds, is a relatively new kind of lecithin that is gaining popularity as a healthier alternative to traditional lecithin. The sunflower lecithin is prepared by first dehydrating a sunflower and thereafter removing the “gum” component of the sunflower.

The majority of sunflower lecithin is extracted from the sunflower by a process known as “cold pressing,” which is similar to how olive oil is produced and is considered to be a more secure method. On the other hand, the extraction process for soy lecithin often involves the use of chemicals.

Is Lecithin Healthy?

Complaints regarding the product’s quality and questionable production procedures are simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems associated with soy lecithin. The primary issue is that consuming soy lecithin may have serious negative effects on both your health and your quality of life. This is fairly ironic because it’s often included in supplements meant to help your health, like protein powders.

GMOs make up a significant portion of the soy that is now cultivated for human consumption. If you are making a concerted effort to steer clear of these contentious foods, soy lecithin might be working against you. Some people may experience negative effects from ingesting soy lecithin because it contains compounds called phytoestrogens that mimic the hormone estrogen.

Studies conducted on rats, for instance, have revealed that the offspring of mothers who had a diet rich in soy were at a greatly elevated risk of experiencing cognitive and behavioral issues as adults. This was the case regardless of the species of the animal. Individuals who are currently coping with this illness are strongly encouraged to abstain from consuming these phytoestrogens because of the possibility that they may make some types of breast cancer worse.

Quality: Manufacturers Use Lecithin in Whey Protein

When things are handled properly, the protein powders that are produced from dairy or other foods will have a natural pleasant texture. However, most manufacturers use lecithin as a thickener to guarantee that the food has a good texture and does not clamp up.

Consider the milk proteins, such as casein and whey, as an example. To produce milk with a high concentration of beneficial omega-3 and conjugated linoleic fatty acids, cows should be given a natural diet of grass. Nevertheless, dairy cows are often confined to feed lots, where they are fed a continuous diet of grain in addition to other things that are outside of their natural diet. This is because these cows are used for milk production. As a direct consequence of this, the structure of the milk that is obtained from these cows is not as it should be. The taste and consistency, which are ultimately watery and thin as a result of this flaw, are one of how this problem is made apparent.

Companies add inexpensive thickeners like liquid soy lecithin to their products to salvage their product and conceal the usage of low-quality source ingredients. If a product contains soy lecithin or any other ingredient that functions similarly, this is a clear indication that the product was manufactured improperly.


Lecithin is used in the production of whey protein to ensure that all of the components of the whey protein are thoroughly combined and to avoid the whey protein from becoming clumpy. It is advisable to search for the substance that is the most natural and does the least amount of damage to your health if you are looking to put anything into your body. If you are interested in purchasing whey protein powder, your best bet is to stick with goods that include sunflower lecithin rather than soy lecithin.

Contact us today for all your lecithin needs. We can supply small quantities or truckloads for larger needs. We are your number one lecithin supplier, shipping all over the United States and Canada.