It is composed by a complex mixture of phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol) as a part of cell membranes and found in large amounts in the seed oil of several plants (soy, sunflower, and colza), egg yolk and liver.
They are used in the food and pharmaceutical industry as softener and stabilizer. Also, as a medication for hyperlipidemia control. It has been also added to pumped breast milk to lessen loss of fat due to adherence to the surface of tubes used for enteral feeding.
It is naturally found in the plasma, and, at higher levels in human milk. The mature milk contains more Coline than the colostrum or the mother milk of prematures. This content is also higher in breast milk than in industrial formulas.
When used as a supplement, the concentration of Coline is moderately increased in the plasma, the milk and the serum of the infant. Supplementation with Coline does not enhance the cognitive capability of the infant. There is not scientific proof on the effectiveness for the treatment of mastitis, blocked ducts, nipple blisters or milk pearls.
No adverse effects have been reported. Since a lack of toxicity at usual doses, it is believed to be safe while breastfeeding with a moderate use.
See below the information of these related products:
We do not have alternatives for Lecithin since it is relatively safe.
Very Low Risk
Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.
Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.
Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.
Very High Risk
Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.
- Λεκιθίνη (Greek)
- Лецитин (Cyrillic)
- レシチン (Japanese)
Drug trade names
- McGuire E. Case study: white spot and lecithin. Breastfeed Rev. 2015Abstract
- Davenport C, Yan J, Taesuwan S, Shields K, West AA, Jiang X, Perry CA, Malysheva OV, Stabler SP, Allen RH, Caudill MA. Choline intakes exceeding recommendations during human lactation improve breast milk choline content by increasing PEMT pathway metabolites. J Nutr Biochem. 2015Abstract
- Cheatham CL, Goldman BD, Fischer LM, da Costa KA, Reznick JS, Zeisel SH. Phosphatidylcholine supplementation in pregnant women consuming moderate-choline diets does not enhance infant cognitive function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
- Fischer LM, da Costa KA, Galanko J, Sha W, Stephenson B, Vick J, Zeisel SH. Choline intake and genetic polymorphisms influence choline metabolite concentrations in human breast milk and plasma. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
- Scott CR. Lecithin: it isn't just for plugged milk ducts and mastitis anymore. Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2005Abstract
- Ilcol YO, Ozbek R, Hamurtekin E, Ulus IH. Choline status in newborns, infants, children, breast-feeding women, breast-fed infants and human breast milk. J Nutr Biochem. 2005Abstract
- Chan MM, Nohara M, Chan BR, Curtis J, Chan GM. Lecithin decreases human milk fat loss during enteral pumping. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2003Abstract
- Holmes HC, Snodgrass GJ, Iles RA. Changes in the choline content of human breast milk in the first 3 weeks after birth. Eur J Pediatr. 2000Abstract
- Holmes HC, Snodgrass GJ, Iles RA. The choline content of human breast milk expressed during the first few weeks of lactation. Biochem Soc Trans. 1996Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
- Holmes-McNary MQ, Cheng WL, Mar MH, Fussell S, Zeisel SH. Choline and choline esters in human and rat milk and in infant formulas. Am J Clin Nutr. 1996Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)