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Benefits of Lecithin Sexually: Does it Help With ED?

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Published 11/01/2022

Updated 11/02/2022

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.

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What Is Lecithin? 

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: 

  • Soybeans

  • Wheat germ

  • Peanuts

  • Liver

  • Egg yolks

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.

Does Lecithin Help with Erectile Dysfunction? 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately 30 million American men. As the name implies, ED occurs when there is a dysfunction in how arousal happens. 

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. 

So, if fat is clogging arteries, choline (via lecithin) could help. Choline also keeps your blood vessels healthy — which are a key part of how you get an erection.

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. 

Other Benefits of Lecithin For Men

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). 

Lecithin may also help men who have digestive issues due to ulcerative colitis. This is because it can help reduce mucus that lines the stomach, which helps make digestion easier. 

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. 

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Is Lecithin Safe?

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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Effective Ways to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

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:

Sildenafil 

Sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra®. Sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5 inhibitor). 

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.

Tadalafil 

Tadalafil (and the brand name Cialis®) are also commonly prescribed for ED. 

Like sildenafil, this medication is a PDE5 inhibitor. It is sometimes called the “weekend” ED medication because it lasts for up to 36 hours

Vardenafil 

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.

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Taking Lecithin for Erectile Dysfunction

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.

15 Sources

  1. Lecithin. University of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=lecithin
  2. Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. (July 2017). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
  3. Erection Ejaculaton: How it Occurs (2020). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10036-erection-ejaculation-how-it-occurs
  4. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (July 2017). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
  5. Choline. National Institute of Health. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-Consumer/#:~:text=Cardiovascular%20disease,might%20increase%20cardiovascular%20disease%20risk.
  6. Ramdath, D., Padhi, E., Sarfaraz, S., (2017). Beyond the Cholesterol-Lowering Effect of Soy Protein: A Review of the Effects of Dietary Soy and Its Constituents on Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409663/#B25-nutrients-09-00324
  7. Gauss, S., (2013). Lecithin as a Therapeutic Agent in Ulcerative Colitis. Digestive Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/354707
  8. Poly, C., Massaro, J., Seshadri, S., et al., (2011). The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252552/
  9. Code of Federal Regulations. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1400
  10. Sildenafil (2018). Medline Plus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html
  11. Tadalafil (2016). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604008.html
  12. Smith BP, Babos M. Sildenafil. [Updated 2020 Jun 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558978/
  13. The Food and Drug Administration. (2018). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/021368s030lbl.pdf
  14. The Food and Drug Administration (2007). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/021400s010lbl.pdf
  15. The Food and Drug Administration. (2017). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/021400s020lbl.pdf
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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