Lecithin is a term for a mixture of compounds derived from animal and plant tissues. Lecithin has been shown to reduce cholesterol (1), dampen cortisol responses in situations of social stress (2), and to increase semen volume.

  • Increases semen volume & orgasm intensity
  • Reduces total blood cholesterol

Available as an ingredient in: 

The Short Answer.

  • Studies suggest that lecithin reduces cholesterol, reduces stress, and improves cognition

  • Lecithin reliably increases semen volume and improves sperm health

What is Lecithin?

Lecithin is a term for a mixture of compounds derived from animal and plant sources. Lecithins are amphiphilic (meaning they attract both water and fats) and belong to a larger group of compounds called phospholipids.

Phospholipids like lecithin comprise important parts of the brain, blood, nerves, and other tissues (3).

Why Supplement Lecithin?

Lecithin supplements are used for three purposes:

1) To treat certain medical conditions.

2) Increase semen volume and orgasm intensity.

3) Improve cognition and focus.

The major sources of lecithin in diet are from red meat, seafood, eggs, and legumes (4). While there is no recommended daily intake amount, dosages found to be effective for reducing cholesterol, reducing stress, and increasing semen volume are generally easiest to obtain when taking a daily lecithin supplement in conjunction with a diet rich in whole foods.

Lecithin for Heart Health

There is robust data showing that lecithin supplementation reduces total cholesterol in patients while high cholesterol. 

In one study, administration of 500 mg of lecithin per day reduced total cholesterol levels by 40% and LDL ("bad cholesterol") by 56% in a two month period (5). 

This is a considerable reduction in cholesterol levels on the order of many pharmaceutical interventions, for example, statins can be expected to reduce LDL by between 30-50% (6).

Lecithin for Sex: Increased Semen Volume

Lecithin supplementation reliably increases semen volume, both in humans and in animals. While no double-blinded human studies on semen volume and lecithin have been carried out, lecithin supplementation in animal models have shown significant increases in semen volume.

Lecithin supplementation over a period of three months increased semen volume by 17.5% in rabbits (7) and 14.2% in roosters (8). Markers of sperm health and mobility were also improved in both studies.

Lecithin alongside other supplements such as pygeum and zinc increase the volume enhancing effects of lecithin. Combining lecithin with a semen flavor enhancing supplement (such as bromelain) is another popular combination.

Lecithin for Cognition and Focus

In the diet, lecithin is the main source of choline (3). Choline is an essential nutrient and critical to the nervous system. Choline is commonly supplemented to improve memory and mental functioning. 

Lecithin is also converted into acetylcholine, a substance that is critical for transmitting nerve impulses. Lecithin was shown to improve memory, mood, and cognition in a three month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (9).

Is Lecithin Safe?

Lecithin is naturally occurring in a variety of common foods such as meat, eggs, fish, and legumes. Most individuals consume lecithin in some form within their day-to-day diet. 

As a supplement and as a food additive Lecithin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA (10). This means that it is considered safe by experts under the conditions of its intended use.

Lecithin is sourced from eggs, soy, and sunflower seeds. While some protein residues may remain from the manufacturing process these protein residues are normally not high enough to provoke allergic reactions (11). Nevertheless,exercise caution if you are allergic to these foodsThe highest quality lecithin supplements are typically isolated from soybeans. 

✔️ References

1. Mourad AM, de Carvalho Pincinato E, Mazzola PG, Sabha M, Moriel P. Influence of soy lecithin administration on hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol. 2010;2010:824813. doi: 10.1155/2010/824813. Epub 2009 Dec 28. PMID: 21490917; PMCID: PMC3065734.

2. Hellhammer J, Fries E, Buss C, Engert V, Tuch A, Rutenberg D, Hellhammer D. Effects of soy lecithin phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine complex (PAS) on the endocrine and psychological responses to mental stress. Stress. 2004 Jun;7(2):119-26. doi: 10.1080/10253890410001728379. PMID: 15512856.

3. "Lecithin - Uses, Side Effects, And More" WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-966/lecithinAccessed 11 April 2022

4. Corleone, Jill. "Foods High in Lecithin" Livestrong, 7 August 2019. https://www.livestrong.com/article/458869-foods-high-in-lecithin/. Accessed 11 April 2022.

5. Mourad AM, de Carvalho Pincinato E, Mazzola PG, Sabha M, Moriel P. Influence of soy lecithin administration on hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol. 2010;2010:824813. doi: 10.1155/2010/824813. Epub 2009 Dec 28. PMID: 21490917; PMCID: PMC3065734.

6. "Statins" Heart UK: The Cholesterol Charity. https://www.heartuk.org.uk/getting-treatment/statins. Accessed 11 April 2022.

7. Attia YA, Kamel KI. Semen quality, testosterone, seminal plasma biochemical and antioxidant profiles of rabbit bucks fed diets supplemented with different concentrations of soybean lecithin. Animal. 2012 May;6(5):824-33. doi: 10.1017/S1751731111002229. PMID: 22558930.

8. Shabani S, Mehri M, Shirmohammad F, Sharafi M. Enhancement of sperm quality and fertility-related parameters in Hubbard grandparent rooster fed diets supplemented with soybean lecithin and vitamin E. Poult Sci. 2022 Mar;101(3):101635. doi: 10.1016/j.psj.2021.101635. Epub 2021 Dec 9. PMID: 35007931; PMCID: PMC8749332.

9. Moré MI, Freitas U, Rutenberg D. Positive effects of soy lecithin-derived phosphatidylserine plus phosphatidic acid on memory, cognition, daily functioning, and mood in elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Adv Ther. 2014 Dec;31(12):1247-62. doi: 10.1007/s12325-014-0165-1. Epub 2014 Nov 21. PMID: 25414047; PMCID: PMC4271139.

10. "Code of Federal Regulations". US Food and Drug Administration. 26 August 2021. Retrieved 4 April 2022

11. "Soybeans and Soy Lecithin". National Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Food Allergy Research and Resource Program. Retrieved 12 April 2022.