Is Sunflower Lecithin Safer than Soy Lecithin?

Most of the phytochemicals in soybeans are also found in sunflower kernels, the source of sunflower lecithin. Like soybeans, sunflower kernels are well known to have protease inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), saponins, isoflavones, oxalates and more.1

We have not found any evidence that soy or sunflower lecithin is unsafe. Sunflower lecithin is a wonderful source of phospholipids; it is not going to contain the same amounts of phytochemicals as a whole sunflower kernel. The same applies to high quality soy lecithin and purified phospholipids extracted from soy lecithin – neither are going to contain the same amounts of the phytochemicals found in raw soybeans.

[1] Dr. Katherine Phillips of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University compiled a comprehensive paper that covers the range of phytochemicals found in sunflower kernels in her Final Report on the “Phytochemicals in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)” from April 2000. This paper can be downloaded from the National Sunflower Association at http://www.sunflowernsa.com/seed/sunflower-kernels-in-bakery-foods/phytochemicals-in-sunflower-kernel/.

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