Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
If you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction, chances are, it’s affecting your quality of life. Lecithin is a compound that’s purported to do things like lower cholesterol and even improve heart health. Some people even talk about its benefits for sexual performance. So, what are the benefits of lecithin sexually? Can it possibly help people struggling with ED?
We get the need to ask questions. When you’re dealing with something as brutal as erectile dysfunction, the “no stone left unturned” policy is best. While sexual function isn’t the most important thing in life, it does have a big tie to intimacy. And, who doesn’t want to have intimate relationships?
But how much stock should you put in lecithin? Is this worth taking a deeper look at? Let’s see what’s up.
Lecithin (also commonly known as soy lecithin) is something that can be found naturally in your body. It’s part of a larger group of compounds called phospholipids, which play key roles in your brain, blood, nerves and more.
Lecithin can also be found naturally in foods. Foods that contain lecithin include:
In addition to foods, lecithin can be found in supplement form.
Lecithin is used in the metabolic process and also moves fats. When in your body, lecithin transforms into something called choline, which then helps your body make a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
In very rare cases, some people may even be choline-deficient, which can be a problem that causes muscle damage, kidney problems and liver issues.
In an ideal scenario, the brain sends signals to the blood vessels in the penis to open up. This helps blood flow increase. The blood flow then gets trapped in the corpora cavernosa (two long chambers in the penis), which helps you get — and keep — an erection.
ED can be caused by things like age, testosterone levels, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, neurological diseases, stress, obesity and more. Regardless of the cause, no one wants to live with ED. So, finding a solution to address it is important.
There’s some buzz that lecithin supplements can help with ED. Unfortunately, there’s really no research to support this.
The theory, however, is that when lecithin turns into choline, it helps move fat in the body.
In other words, lecithin could help improve the function of things that are also involved in getting an erection. Because of this, some people think lecithin could help with ED caused by cardiovascular issues.
While this sounds reasonable, there really is no research that backs up the idea that lecithin is a solution for ED.
It’s also worth noting that there are rumors that lecithin can increase semen volume, sperm count, semen quality or even sperm motility. Outside of anecdotal accounts from the Internet, there’s also no evidence to back this up.
Though there’s no solid proof that taking a lecithin supplement helps with ED, there are some other benefits for men. Lecithin does serve a purpose.
For example, research shows that soybean lecithin can help to boost HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and lower LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind).
A diet rich in choline, which can be derived from lecithin, has been shown to potentially lead to sharper memory and may even help people with Alzheimer’s.
Generally speaking, lecithin is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed adding lecithin to your diet to be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Translation: It hasn’t been found to have any harmful effects.
However, you should know that the FDA does not regulate supplements, so there’s no official ruling on the safety of lecithin supplements.
Even still, they are generally believed to be safe. Like with many supplements, there are some common side effects associated with taking lecithin, which include things like stomach aches, loose stools or diarrhea.
Before you start taking a new supplement, you should speak to a healthcare professional. You’ll want to tell them any other medications you’re on or if you have any other medical conditions. This way, they can make sure lecithin won’t interfere with those things.
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If you’re bummed that lecithin isn’t a for-sure answer to your ED issues — don’t worry! The good news is that there are other medications that have been proven to improve sexual function in men.
These are some of the common medications used to treat ED:
This type of medication works for ED by relaxing the muscles in the penis, which helps blood flow to the penis increase during sexual stimulation.
Sildenafil can work as quickly as within 30 minutes of taking it and can last for up to four hours.
Like sildenafil, this medication is a PDE5 inhibitor. It is sometimes called the “weekend” ED medication because it lasts for up to 36 hours
Like the other medications, vardenafil requires a prescription.
In a clinical trial, 75 percent of men reported that they got an erection that was good enough for sex after using the 10mg dose. Even more men got an erection after taking a 20mg dose.
This medication works within 30 to 60 minutes of taking and lasts for about five hours.
Erectile dysfunction can impact your romantic life in a major way. If you’re dealing with ED, you’ll likely want to find a solution.
There are rumors that lecithin can help with ED. It’s also said that it can boost sperm count and semen volume.
Lecithin can be found in foods (like wheat germ, egg yolks and more), but it can also be found in supplement form.
People believe that lecithin can help with ED because it may help with cardiovascular issues (some of which can contribute to ED), but the data and research to back up these claims is scarce at best.
However, lecithin is generally accepted as safe to consume by the FDA and does offer some benefits, like reducing bad cholesterol, improving some areas of heart health and aiding in the treatment of digestive troubles. It may even help in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re looking for a medication that really can help with ED, you may want to schedule an online consultation to speak with a healthcare professional to talk about the possibility of taking sildenafil or another ED medication.
And, at the very least, if you still think lecithin is something you’d like to explore, make sure you contact your healthcare provider and let them know — they’ll be able to give you the guidance you need.