lecithin capsules closeup photo
Lecithin supplements have been touted as being beneficial for many different things but there is almost no evidence that this is the case. (Photo source: iStock)

Lecithin is a very popular dietary supplement. But what do we know about its risks and benefits?

With regard to benefits, we know that lecithin supplements are heavily promoted as a panacea for:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Liver and cell function
  • Fat transport and fat metabolism
  • Reproduction and child development
  • Physical performance and muscle function
  • Cell communication
  • Improvement in memory, learning, and reaction time
  • Relief of arthritis
  • Healthy hair and skin
  • Treatment for gallstones

I have always been suspicious of promotions that promise to cure all human ailments. So it doesn’t surprise me to find that a recent review of a number of scientific papers on PubMed reveals that the researchers still refer to hoped for lecithin benefits with terms like “may,” “might,” “theoretically could” and not with “does.” Further, most papers and credible health-related websites point out that there is a woeful lack of research about the efficacy of this particular dietary supplement.

So, I believe that, at this point in time, it is safe to say that none of the claims about lecithin have any credible evidence to back them up.

There are two possible but minor exceptions

    1. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier, so claims that it dissolves gallstones may be credible. However, I haven’t come across a good study documenting it. And, WebMD gives lecithin treatment of gallstones an unenthusiastic “recommendation” of possibly ineffective.
    2. A small study out of Tokyo recently found that high-dose (1200 mg/day) soy lecithin increased “vigor” in middle-aged women who presented with fatigue compared to a placebo. The study was funded by Kikkoman, a Japanese food producer that makes a variety of soy products, such as soy sauce and soy milk.

What is lecithin?

Lecithin is actually a mixture of different fatty substances called glycerophospholipids, including: 

      • phosphatidylcholine (often thought synonymous with lecithin)
      • phosphatidylethanolamine
      • phosphatidylinositol
      • phosphatidylserine
      • phosphatidic acid

Lecithin is found in egg yolk, meats, soy, seeds, such as sunflower and rapeseed, and some vegetables, such as corn. Soy is the source of most commercial lecithin, although sunflower lecithin is increasingly popular because of concerns about GMOs in soy and food allergy labeling regulations.

Is there really lecithin in your lecithin supplement?

You probably assume that when you take lecithin supplements, you are actually getting lecithin. However, as is the case with many nutritional supplements, commercial preparations vary widely in the amount the substance that is actually in their product.

Why such variability? Because the suppliers of supplements were exempted by Congress from adhering to any standards of manufacture, purity, or claims of benefits. How this came about is emblematic of our broken political system, but don’t get me going on this.

Only a fraction of commercial lecithin is made up of the real thing. So, what makes up the rest? The answer: fatty acids!

Not exactly the stuff to help in weight reduction, cardiovascular health, or good liver function. In fact, theoretically, they could work against all those potentially wonderful benefits.


Before we go any further, let me introduce a relatively new medical term: metabolomics. We are all familiar with the concept of genomics, meaning the study of the genome, or the total genetic content and its effect on health and disease.

Similarly, the sum total of chemicals, substrates, and metabolites in the body is called the metabolome. Metabolomics is the study of those substances in health and disease. The advantage of taking an all-inclusive approach is that it is unbiased.

The classical scientific approach is to study a specific gene or molecule, essentially ignoring everything else. This is akin to peeping through a keyhole. You see only what the hole allows you to see.

On the other hand, studying the whole genome or the whole metabolome gives a complete picture of everything that is involved in the process being studied.

For instance, for many years, only one or two genes were thought to be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Why? Because these were the only genes that “made sense” as targets for study. The advent of whole-genome studies demonstrated the involvement of dozens of genes in the disease. This was a complete surprise.

What’s the downside of lecithin supplements?

So, let’s return to the question at hand. If lecithin supplements don’t cause any harm, why not give it the benefit of the doubt? After all, a future study may prove its benefit.

In a paper published in Nature, Wang and his collaboratorsat the Cleveland Clinic studied the metabolic fate of lecithin. They used the metabolomic approach to look for circulating small molecules associated with coronary heart disease.

They screened blood from patients who had experienced a heart attack or stroke. Then they compared those results with the blood of people who had not had those serious cardiovascular events.

They found major differences in choline, betaine, and trimethylamine (TMA).It turns out that gut bacteria produce these metabolites from lecithin. And then they convert them to trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO).

This terminal metabolite, TMAO, is a known atherogenic substance.

That means it is involved in atherosclerotic plaque formation.

None of the metabolites appeared in the blood after the gut flora was wiped out with an antibiotic. Could it be that the gut flora in people with cardiovascular disease is different in some way from that of healthy people? We don’t know, but we do know that the physiological state of a person can determine the gut flora. For instance, the gut flora of obese people is markedly different from that of the non-obese.

Based on this study alone, we still can’t tell if these lecithin metabolites are causative factors, or whether they are just markers of the disease. This is because correlative studies can show only correlations, not cause and effect.

Lecithin is not the only culprit that leads to TMAO

Is lecithin the only culprit that produces TMAO? Red meat contains another triethylamine. This molecule, called L-Carnitine, is similar to choline and lecithin. Like them, it should be metabolized by the gut flora into MAO and then converted to TMAO in the circulation.

The same Cleveland Clinic group examined the production of TMAO by omnivores, vegans, and vegetarians following the ingestion of L-carnitine.

They found that the omnivorous humans had higher levels of circulating TMAO. The reason? Meat eaters have gut bacterial flora different than vegetarians and vegans.

It contains species that feast on triethylamines:

      • choline
      • lecithin
      • carnitine


Confirmation that the gut microbiome is key to the production of TMAO

Let’s look at an interesting study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by Tang and colleagues. It had two phases.

In the first phase, the investigators gave healthy participants a phosphatidylcholine challenge using a stable isotope-labeled form of the phospholipid. They then used mass spectrometry to monitor choline metabolites before and after the suppression of gut microbiota with broad-spectrum antibiotics.

They found that the phosphatidylcholine challenge increased all choline metabolites. Antibiotics suppressed the generation of TMAO metabolites. After the antibiotics were discontinued, they reappeared.

TMAO also found to correlate with cardiovascular events

In the second phase, the researchers examined the relationship between fasting plasma TMAO levels and incident cardiovascular events over a 3-year period. They studied more than 4,000 participants undergoing elective coronary angiography.

They found an independent, dose-dependent relationship between the metabolite and the risk of a cardiovascular event on the basis of the TMAO quartile. The highest quartile had 2.54 times the risk over the lowest quartile.

The bottom line when it comes to the risks and benefits of lecithin supplementation

Here is what we know about lecithin:

  • The phospholipid phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) is the major dietary source of choline, an essential nutrient that is part of the B-complex vitamin family. Choline has various metabolic roles, ranging from its critical involvement in lipid metabolism and cell-membrane structure to its role as a precursor for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
  • Red meat, processed meats, and egg yolk contain high levels of lecithin.
  • Gut flora metabolizes phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) into three metabolites that show up at high concentrations in people who have had a heart attack or a stroke. They are choline, betaine, and trimethylamine. We metabolize those bacterial metabolites into TMAO, a known atherogenic substance.
  • A large 4,000-patient study over 3 years showed a significant correlation between TMAO levels and cardiac events and stroke.

Causality vs correlation

One could argue that that the gold standard for demonstrating causality, namely a randomized, placebo-controlled study has not been done. Fair enough. But the accumulating evidence, both epidemiological and observational, and the detailed mechanistic studies provide a solid foundation for the clinical observation. This puts the onus of proof on the companies that make money off it and the “true believers” who fall for their unsubstantiated claims.

So, how does one make a decision about whether to take lecithin supplements?

Since the lecithin metabolite, TMAO, is a known atherogenic substance, I believe that until we better understand whether it actually causes atherosclerosis, the prudent approach would call for moderation.

That means limiting your intake of the foodstuffs that have high levels of lecithin.

Further, since there is no credible evidence supporting claims of health benefits, there is no reason to take high doses of lecithin in the form of nutritional supplements. If you do choose to take them, based on what we know now, you could be increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke in exchange for no known benefit. It’s not a good trade-off, in my opinion.

First published – 01/25/2012. The author last updated it on 7/2/20 to include findings from the latest scientific studies.

Dov Michaeli, MD, PhD

Dov Michaeli, M.D., Ph.D. (now retired) was a professor and basic science researcher at the University of California San Francisco. In addition to his clinical and research responsibilities, he also taught biochemistry to first-year medical students for many years.

During this time he was also the Editor of Lange Medical Publications, a company that developed and produced medical texts that were widely used by health professionals around the world.

He loves to write about the brain and human behavior as well as translate knowledge and complicated basic science concepts into entertainment for the rest of us.

He eventually left academia to enter the world of biotech. He served as the Chief Medical Officer of biotech companies, including Aphton Corporation. He also founded and served as the CEO of Madah Medica, an early-stage biotech company that developed products to improve post-surgical pain control.

Now that he is retired, he enjoys working out for two hours every day. He also follows the stock market, travels the world, and, of course, writes for TDWI.


  1. Whoah this weblog is wonderful i really like studying your articles.

    Keep up the good work! You understand, lots of persons are looking round for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  2. I am 66 and have been taking lecithin for for over 35 yr’s .I started using it as a fat burner when I started bodybuilding ,my old roomate came from golds gym, so I knew that it would work.After a few months I started seeing my ”6 pack abs” for the first time.This was BEFORE I started using steroids ! Fast forward , I have encouraged many family members over & over to use GRANULATED Lecithin for lowering their cholesterol , and EVERY time it has lowered their cholesterol number to under 200 ! I have learned in the last few years to ONLY recommend SUNFLOWER lecithin for WOMEN because of the SOY for obvious reasons.When I take it my mind has more clarity & quicker thinking from the choline. So at my age do I quit taking it ? Or switch to SUNFLOWER?

  3. Gynostemma pentaphyllum can reduce blood levels of TMAO, even in the presence of Lecithin supplementation (in rats). I thought this information might be useful for those who want/need to take Lecithin despite the possible TMAO risks.
    Source: “Implication of Trimethylamine N-Oxide (TMAO) in Disease: Potential Biomarker or New Therapeutic Target” viewable on NIH website in article PMC6213249.

  4. Lowering TMAO is a factor and consequence of diet. We only recently have the evidence which I posted above in regards to this.

  5. Here is a recent article I wrote showing the top 6 supplements to correct lipid metabolism. Amongst the top 6 with the best scientific evidence is lecithin, which has 6 references.

    If we are making distinctions here, we know the constituents within lecithin, as these are well and widely studied.

    • What’s the title Mark? I would like to go over it. Also, what’s your opinion on this paper, “Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease” (2011)? Can lecithin lead to heart disease?

      • Hi Demetrios: All my articles are on medium under my name. I’ve been studying lipid metabolism along with blood pressure modulation for 14 years and I more than addressed your question in it and so many others. The goal with both this one and all my blood pressure findings was to condense them into a few pages. I cannot make it any easier to understand these actual relationships for the casual reader. It’s easy to see how people are so confused with endless conflicting information. In short, TMAO appears to be a byproduct of diets high in red meat, as this was confirmed in a most recent study, now showcased on the pubmed site. I linked it here as well.

        • Thanks Mark. You seem to be familiar with the subject. Do you have an email address i could use to send you some obscure blood test results i got a year ago? I was confused by them, and the doctors i asked weren’t able to provide sufficient answers. It had to do with my high total cholesterol levels, and bear in mind i am a young person (27 years old). Furthermore, my diet is relatively high in red meat. Does this mean i should cut on red meat if i am to continue taking a lecithin supplement?

  6. What you guys what to really do is take Sunflower Lecithin, Hemp oil (mixed with MCT oil), Vitamin C, and a good mushrooms blend, then wash that down with a good spirulina smoothie, or a tablet or 2 of spirulina and a mango smoothie or coconut water. This will give you that peak energy your body and cellular structure wants and it will keep you feeling the best, as the blend of everything will basically synergize each other and BOOM you will feel great. Plus vegetables and organic stuff is the only safe place you can get ORMUS from. If you really want a boost look into Celastrus seed extract, but only if your studying for your finals in asia.

    • Editor’s note: WE DO NOT SUPPORT ANYTHING THAT JOHN FOYTEK WROTE IN HIS COMMENT. He provides no evidence, just his opinion. Before you put anything in your mouth, be sure you understand what it is and what are the consequences of ingesting it. Just because something is available on the market does not mean it is beneficial or even safe.

  7. Your initial referencw was WebMd, who does not cite any references in their articles.

    You can also find horribly and veriafiably false information on their website, such as kava kava damages the liver.

    It’s good to be skeptical and at the same time, with not a whole lot of upside, I wouldnt be holding our breaths for a larger study. In this case N=1 might be the only reference point. If we were discussing something widely studied such as garlic, niacin, etc, then this would be a fair comment.

    At the same time, we have 40M americans on arguably the most toxic Rx, statin drugs, with no demonstrated benefit in absense of an initial cardiac event. Yet, we continue prescribing them with a cost greatly exceeding the risk.

    • I agree with everyone in the comments. I do have a doctorate in physical therapy so fairly educated on looking at research. Be careful what site you trust to read from. The truth is we don’t know about this stuff and it’s dangerous to push either way; which is exactly the opposite of this article which is matter of fact that there is no good use to take it; and lack of openness with responses to people who argue that view point. I fully support the comment section here! Who knows this supplement might help; might not! Not enough research. So everyone commenting; keep it up with doing your own research.

      The medical system would benefit with people taking back their own autonomy in decisions good or bad. Less paranoia about doing the right thing, if we take something and it hurts us then I guess it’s our own fault, but at least we make our own decisions. Take care everyone.

      • We don’t know about this “stuff”?

        While we may not have large-scale lecithin studies, we do have an array of studies confirming the enormous health value of lecithin components.

        Delivering substantial amounts of phosphatidylserine (PS), phosphatidylcholine (PC), and phosphatidylinositol (PI), lecithin is a powerful fat-like compound.

        And we absolutely know what all of the above does in vivo and in vitro.

  8. B.S. phony article, it’s clear that people are not stupid and are not blind. And the author is on the side of the big pharma. Afterall the website title is ‘the doctor…’. Exactly the type of nonsense a doctor would write.

    You doctors are all drug dealers for big pharma !

    • Hi Michael, you are obviously a troll for the supplement industry. If you have facts and data from reputable sources, please present them in a civilized manner. But hurling invectives and personal accusations for which you have zero evidence will not persuade anybody with an ounce of brain. A reasoned, fact-based debate will always be welcome on this site. If you can’t rise to this standard, better stay out.

  9. Dr so does this mean that taking Probiotic, yogurt, Kefir like drinks actually helps gut flora which acts like antibiotic and reduces TMAO effect or production? Healthy gut means healthy heart.

    • Lowering TMAO is a factor and consequence of diet. We only recently have the evidence which I posted above in regards to this.

  10. Hi Doctor I have Fatty liver with 203 sgpt level, would lecithin improves my liver function and reduce my sgpt level? Really need help with my fatty liver.

  11. Doctor,
    I sprinkle Lecithin on fatty food and mix it. It makes fat droplets smaller and they can pass through my intestine and I can finally digest fats.
    You don’t have to take lecithine by mouth. Just mix it with food and let it work there before you consume it.
    Common sense.

    • Dear Ben: Perfect use for lecithin, which is an emulsifier, and thus breaks up large lipid drops into microscopic ones. and this, in turn, allows for much better absorption of fats.

      • Dr. Michaeli, so using lecithin in this way (sprinkling it over food) won’t lead to an increase in TMAO metabolites? How is that different than standalone Lecithin supplementation?

  12. Nice article to know about lecithin supplements and its biological role. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is very much needed to take important supplements. I have taken vitamin B12 form of vape since I need it as I am a patient of nervous disorders and anxiety. I have very much benefited and I know how significant these natural supplements.

  13. Nice article to know about lecithin supplements and its biological role. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is very much needed to take important supplements. I have taken vitamin B12 form of vape since I need it as I am a patient of nervous disorders and anxiety. I have very much benefited and I know how significant these natural supplements.

  14. Hi Suzanne. I don’t know if my brand is one of the best, but I most often use Swanson brands. Most brands offer 1200mg, which I thought was too much. I always try new things at lower amounts, especially with something that is cell oriented. I chewed it, spitting out the covering, while swallowing an amount of the contents. This was SWANSON Sunflower Lecithin. After awhile, I used the whole pill every couple of days. Puritan Pride offers a 550mg soy lecithin, which I have used, but I get a double benefit from Sunflower Lecithin, because it reduces my cholesterol. What also might be important are foods or supplements that reduce inflammation such as ginger, turmeric, and others. B12 can help with leg tingling, as it helps with nerves. I sometimes believe a combo of things makes a difference. Certainly, lecithin helped SO MUCH that I will continue it for sure.

    • Hi, I have read lethicin is helpful for clogged ducts while breastfeeding. If you only take lethicin only while you are breastfeeding, say a maximum of 1 year, does that increase the chances of cardiac problems down the line, or one would have to take it long term to really suffer from these potential effects?

      • Hi Bora
        unfortunately, there are no good studies on supplements in general, and on lecithin in particular. However, my interpretation of the available literature is that use of lecithin for relatively short period, such as one year, should cause no cardiac problem. So have a happy breastfeeding.

  15. My cholesterol was lowered 40 points with sunflower lecithin, but not with soy lecithin supplementation. What is does for me that is more important to me… it appears to reduce inflammation that nothing else I’ve tried does. It reduces unexplained leg and pelvic tingling and inflammation. I’ve seen all types of doctors about the symptoms, but lecithin made the difference i could feel. Only my gynecologist suggested it might be a cellular problem, and lecithin is in every cell. I don’t understand the medical processes involved, but I do appreciate the results.

      • Hi Suzanne. I don’t know if my brand is one of the best, but I most often use Swanson brands. Most brands offer 1200mg, which I thought was too much. I always try new things at lower amounts, especially with something that is cell oriented. I chewed it, spitting out the covering, while swallowing an amount of the contents. This was SWANSON Sunflower Lecithin. After awhile, I used the whole pill every couple of days. Puritan Pride offers a 550mg soy lecithin, which I have used, but I get a double benefit from Sunflower Lecithin, because it reduces my cholesterol. What also might be important are foods or supplements that reduce inflammation such as ginger, turmeric, and others. B12 can help with leg tingling, as it helps with nerves.

        • Hello Kara. Could it be that you didn’t get the same results with soy Lecithin, because you were taking lower doses (550 mg), less than half of the sunflower Lecithin (1200 mg)? Very interesting results by the way, thanks for sharing.

  16. […] claims (meanwhile containing all sorts of unsavory fellows such as whey protein isolate, soy lecithin and […]

  17. Chris Masterjohn PhD wrote an interesting rebuttal to the Nature articles on lecithin & carnitine, where he pointed out that seafood results in much higher urinary output of TMAO. If lecithin & carnitine are bad for the heart due to TMAO production, this means seafood should be absolutely dreadful; and countries like Japan (with a high seafood diet) should have ominous cardiac issues and short life expectancy. Instead, we see Japan as one of the top 10 longevity kings, despite the fact that smoking is popular there. Risk is relative, but the potential rise in TMAO from lecithin doesn’t hold water if one considers high seafood diets as beneficial to longevity produce much more TMAO than lecithin.

  18. It is odd and inconsistent to say 1 study showing possible negative effects is why you shouldn’t take something, and at the same time, reject hundreds of neutral to positive studies as inconclusive.

    I don’t know about its use for general health, but Lecithin/Phosphatylcholine is very useful to create liposomal mixtures, increasing bioavailability and slowing absorption of useful supplements like Berberine & Vitamin C. Also allows transdermal supplementation.
    That’s how I use it. Berberine without a liposomal container or glycoprotein inhibitor is near useless.

    The statement against all FFA in the blog also seems dated science, back when doctors thought fat is bad sugar good. FFAs are legitimate sources of energy. Try a diet with 0 fatty acids, see what happens.

    Know plenty of people in epilepsy and diabetes community that only got healthier on low carb, high fat diets. Lots and lots of FFAs and their health markers improved!


    • Correct. Farmers use glyphosate on their soybeans to dry them faster for processing. Also, glyphosate is used as an insecticide in Round-Up. All soybean products could have glyphosate inside.

  20. The human body is so very complex that no one has all the answers to how it really utilizes all the nutrients which enable it to stay healthy! Scientists and researchers would have been able to replicate the body if that was the case. Scientific and medical research is an ongoing thing, and what was once proven to be true by peer proven research, is turned on its head by new and exciting findings. Research procedures are always at best somewhat flawed, depending on motives and hidden beliefs.
    The body has many processes that are activated during illnesses and injuries. When the body is invaded by noroviruses, the body causes vomiting and diarrhea to eliminate the offending virus. When the body is invaded by cold and flu viruses, it will activate white blood cells which create mucus to attack the virus and in some cases cause fevers which will help to kill the virus. Personally, I feel that when the body has a heart attack, especially one due to a blockage, it sends it’s armies of chemicals that can unblock the heart, and the ingredients in lecithin do help to emulsify hardened cholesterol. (Ask any nursing mother whether it unblocks her milk ducts!) But just because the body releases those chemicals doesn’t mean it can always save someone from a heart attack. It depends upon the condition of the heart and the body. So of course the components of lecithin will be elevated in the body during a heart attack. It’s one of the body’s defense mechanisms in play.
    That being said, I do feel the soy lecithin should not be used. Do the research yourselves about the drawbacks of soy anything. Not to mention that GMOs are used in conjunction to Monsanto’s deadly cocktail of pesticides, which should be avoided. Soy products are BIG business and BIG money for corporations who are aware of their drawbacks, but will cash in a trendy supplement.
    Also you have to do your own research about all the vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body, they all work in unison, not just alone!
    And, I, for one, think that our current “healthcare system’ is garbage! My GP admitted to me that in medical school, she only had ONE WEEK of studying the body’s need for vitamins, and minerals and the processes that they are used for by the body! ONE WEEK! Thanks to Big Pharma our allopathic medical system is corrupt, pushes poison pills, and I believe is the number one killer of people worldwide through greed, power, and criminal negligence! Most people treat their doctors like Gods, when in fact they have been indoctrinated by a filthy, self serving medical system.
    So for us people who dare to buck the corrupt system, we have to turn to alternative medicine, which isn’t perfect either, but at least it has a better chance of helping us with our diseases and health problems. So I salute all of you commenters here who have the inner intuition to try to help yourselves with better, safer choices! It really is our only real chance to try to stay healthy and heal ourselves!

    • The allopathic medical community, big business and corrupt politicians are ultimately responsible for the declining and poor health of Americans. Because they are greedy, selfish and ignorant.

    • Excellent summary, exactly my sentiments but articulated much better. It’s astonishing really but also sad in how The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted healthcare in a myriad of ways in their insatiable appetite for profit. If that’s not bad enough they will also do everything in their power to influence the FDA and destroy any alternative
      Products that threaten their drug profits.

  21. I started taking Sunflower lecithin 2 years ago after a Naturalist suggested it. I’m a renal transplant patient and I take large dosages …12 capsules daily. My labs indicate absolutely no interference with my rejection meds, and renal function improved. My cholesterol, triglycerides all perfect. Blood pressure low to normal and absolutely no side effects. I took the risk and was well worth it.

    • Let me also add that I initially started it to prevent blockages. I then learned by lab results that it was helping in many more areas than expected. I also had an heart valve replacement years before the transplant, and it obviously has not harmed it.. and by test results showed an improvement in heart valve function.

    • MAYBE THIS CAN HELP: THERE ARE SEVERAL SOURCES OF LECITHIN: such as non-gmo sunflower seed, bee pollen, avocado oil, egg yolks (*), known as natural cholesterol emulsifiers that can help lower “bad” cholesterol, as well as to help dissolve and flush fat from the body. As far as I’m aware, nobody has died from including any of those nutrients in their diets, UNLIKE SOY (read ‘FRANKENSTEIN SOY’, in that most of it comes from genetically engineered soybeans), which has been repeatedly reported as a cause of heart attacks

      (*) Yes, egg yolks, the same super nutritious food demonized by ignorant pseudo scientists who, instead of real, fresh egg yolks used dehydrated egg powder to ‘demonstrate’ that egg yolks were too high in cholesterol and therefore unsuitable for a ‘healthy breakfast’.

  22. I have more than one polymorphism which slows the synthesis of choline and lowers the production of phosphytidylcholine. I’m not really sure what to do and this article confuses me even further.

  23. I was looking for info on lecithin. I’m sensitive to soy and for a while I was drinking ginger tea at bedtime to help reduce gut issue and waking up in extreme pain. 1,000s of dollars in doctors, tests, and ER visits later, I removed all folic acid supplements from my diet (blood work showed I had 25 ul or whatever of folic acid when the normal range was maximum of 5.) and looked at the teas and I realized they all had soy lecithin in them. Since then I’ve found I can’t tolerate much in processed foods.

    I now cook all my own food– including baking sourdough breads and avoid most processed foods and take a supplement to help with fructose malabsorption. I’m sure this is due to an underlying issue to be addressed, but for people skating on the edge with chronic gut issues, soy lecithin just does not seem like a good idea. I do ok with sunflower lecithin but too much is never good, of course.

    Can’t fathom anybody supplementing it on purpose, but whatever tunes somebody’s gut, I suppose.

  24. Ive had a spike in my triglycerides in a month and a half from 163 to 700 I just started taking lecithin and wonder does it pull the fat from your body dump it into your blood to be filtered out through the kidneys? I believe thats how the Adkins diet works. But I cant have my triglycerides like that so I am discontinuing til I find answers.

  25. Good day,
    I am a fit 70-year-old female and for all my years have only used natural supplements and up to now have lived my life this way.
    I have just started taking the Sunflower Lecithin with my normal multivitamins and minerals.
    I would just like to know if this supplement is in its self a multivitamin taking care of each part of our body?
    I also take joint, bone and omega’s for an extra benefit to each area of my body and I have no serious ailment (yet) if anyone can tell me if it would be advisable to drop all other supplements for the Sunflower Lecithin or to just add this to my regimen?
    Thank you,

  26. Just want to comment. I have Celiac disease, but didn’t know for many years. The result has been the development of many food allergies, limiting my diet. As a result, I am a big time meat eater and a big time fat eater and have been so for about 15 years now. I eat mostly saturated fats, like coconut oil and meat fats and don’t limit my fats at all and I don’t limit calories. I also eat some olive oil. I have no vascular or cardiovascular plaque whatsoever and my weight is perfect, the same as it was when I was 20. My blood pressure is also the same as it was when I was 20, average of about 115/75. My cholesterol is about 240 and has been for ages. I’m in my mid 60’s and don’t take medications. Just based on my own personal experience, it seems the researchers are not making the right correlations.

  27. Thank you very much for your site Dc. Dov Michaeli, MD, PhD
    I am 74 years old and I should say, I am in a perfect health; I actually mean that, so far, I do not touch any of the synthetic drugs and I will never do.
    Just for the sake of it, 25 years ago, I was diagnosed for a few diseases such as a severe hypothyroidism, a severe cardiovascular desease and an ulcer in the duodenum iliac.
    My only bible was, and still is my computer. The most important thing I found out was the dangers of excess inflammation. Consequently,I immediately changed my diet.
    HYPOTHYROIDISM: I found out that it can be controlled with the right amount of iodine (but never in excess) and even more important by the right amount of iron in the blood. Iron is actually essential for a good health of the thyroid ( My ulcer was probably depleting my iron)
    CARDIOVASCULAR DESEASE: For this one, it has been a little more tricky. First of all without inflammation in the arteries, there will be no problem with the arteries or cholesterol. In fact, the most inportant food of all for our wellness is probably the saturated fats. Unfortunately, one fat in particular is a murder for our arteries and this is Omega 6 (very inflammatory). Most vegetable oils contain Omega 6 and if Omega 3 is in same proportion, they will neutralize each other, the effect, being anti-inflammatory. Consequently, an excess of Omega 6, from peanuts or Canola oil are very bad for arteries and don’t forget that the fats are transported mostly in the arteries to feed the body. If this happens, the proteins from food will thrive to repair the arteries. Unfortunately, these proteins are very often homogenized , such as milk, cream, ice cream and even butter and also all other foods containing same. This is the only cause for blocked arteries. Dont forget now, that if you blend with a high speed mixer, for example lecithin, with, let say Oatmill, or anything else, the proteins will still be very attracted for a quick repair. This is what will cause a thick layer of fats and proteins.
    ULCER IN THE DUODENUM ILIAC: Some people will love this one; I found out that Sunflower lecithin blended with a little L-Glutamine and a little L Arginine in water and stirred well does wonders for the ulcer. The only criteria is that it should be taken just before bed with an empty stomach.
    Good luck everybody

    • Hi Serge, Great info re your comment. What diet did you change to re heart disease – just no omega 6 oils and no dairy or more plant-based?

  28. Lecithin releases betaine, which reduces homocysteine, which is a risk-factor for cardiovascular disease. So, by this mechanism, lecithin actually protects the heart.

    • High homocysteine is cause for kidney stones (possibly gall bladder as well). This would explain the anecdotal evidence that lecithin reduces (potentially dissolves) kidney stone calculi (and gall bladder stone) occurrences. That’s another plus for the case for lecithin supplementation! ;)

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  30. so lecithin from vegan sources such as sunflower is healthy becuase it does not increase tmao wheras choline from animal souces does

  31. […] positively influence people with high cholesterol levels in the blood. Lecithin has in fact been generally utilized to assist people that are at risk to heart attacks along with strokes, and degenerative problems, […]

  32. Dov Michaeli,

    Thanks for your article. Do you have any ideas for why taking choline sources (Choline bitartrate or lecithin) causes me to suffer a great deal of anxiety? I’m generally aware that taking benadryl dulls me, which is attributed to the anticholinegeric effects, but it’s pretty much the only drug I’ve tried that actually helps for my allergies. I’ve tried pretty much every OTC drug out there.

    So basically, I’m trying to counter my benadryl usage by taking choline, and the choline is giving me extremely notable anxiety.

    • Ryan,
      Benadryl is an antihistamine which has what is called an anti-cholinergic activity. What that means is that it enhances the activity of neurons that have acetylcholine receptors on their membrane. Among other cholinergic effects is the drowsiness that it causes. Choline per se does not bind to the cholinergic receptor (despite the confusing terminology). It needs to first get converted to acetylcholine by a specific enzyme, which is located in the brain. But choline does not cross the blood-brain barrier at high concentrations, so you would not expect any effect on cholinergic neurons, including drowsiness. I don’t know why it should cause the anxiety you describe, since it cannot get to the brain in large quantities.

      • Dov Michaeli,

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320575901940 “Brain acetylcholine: Increase after systematic choline administration”

        “http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/220/2/322.short “Effects of phosphatidylcholine administration to rats on choline in blood and choline and acetylcholine in brain.”

        It appears to me it does cross the blood brain barrier on rats anyway? Although those two studies conflict on acetylcholine increase, that might be attributed to the different choline source?

        Also, have you seen this? http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/4/1056.short “Choline in anxiety and depression: the Hordaland Health Study1,2,3”

        Which is funny. Increasing my plasma levels seems to do the opposite of what that study could imply. I’m aware that correlation != causation.

        • Choline crosses the small intestine, but only in limited quantities, because the pump that takes it through the gut wall has limited capacity.
          The excess choline in the diet is metabolized by the gut bacteria. It then reaches the blood circulation and is taken up by the body’s tissues, where it is constitutes part of the cell membrane. It can go through the blood brain barrier, but only in limited quantities. There it is used to replenish and re-build the cell’s membranes, just like in the rest of the tissues. Some of it is acetylated to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.
          Of course you could increase the brain content of choline by iv injection, but this is not a physiological pathway: the pump that takes up the choline gets saturated at low concentration and the excess is getting into the brain by diffusion.
          But there is another aspect to the choline story. We are only partially dependent on dietary choline. The liver synthesizes most, or all, our requirements. This is why there there is no MRD for it.
          I am not aware of DMB in virgin oil.

          • “Getting into the brain by diffusion” Is crossing the blood bran barrier, isn’t it?

            I don’t know what MRD stands for, but I see that there is an average intake recommendation set https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/

            It also appears that bad things happen when people don’t get enough of it:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601486/ “Choline Metabolism Provides Novel Insights into Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and its Progression”

            “Choline was once believed to be a dispensable nutrient because there is a pathway for endogenous formation of phosphatidylcholine catalyzed by phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT). However, controlled clinical feeding studies demonstrated unequivocally that choline is an essential nutrient; humans deprived of choline developed either fatty liver and liver cell death or developed skeletal muscle damage”

            Of course AI for me is 550mg and I’m taking 2.5G through lecithin; none of that supports excessive dosages. I didn’t realize taking it through the gut wall was the bottleneck. I’ve been looking for a study on that, and haven’t found one thus far, but I’ll look later when I have the time.

            • MRD stand for Minimum Daily Requirement. The reason they don’t have one is that normally the liver synthesizes most of the requirement, and the rest comes from a normal diet. The source of the information of gut absorption of choline comes from J Pharmacobiodyn. 1987 Oct;10(10):571-9. What the paper shows is that the choline pump transports choline only if the tissue concentrations of choline is below 100 microM. In other words, If your liver makes choline at its normal rate, and if your diet is normal, than the uptake through the gut is limited.

              • Have you seen this?
                “Normal plasma choline responses to ingested lecithin”
                Steven H. Zeisel, John H. Growdon, Richard J. Wurtman, Sheila G. Magil, Mary Logue
                First published November 1, 1980, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.30.11.1226

                From the abstract “A diet with low choline content did not increase plasma choline concentrations; a diet with high choline content doubled plasma choline levels. A lecithin-supplemented (25 gm; 80% phosphatidylcholine) low-choline diet increased plasma choline levels 400%, these findings indicate that normal diets cause only small elevations in plasma choline; purified lecithin supplements are likely to have greater effects in treating neurologic diseases.”

                • What the doctor didn’t tell Ryan or Anonymous is that lecithin increases acetylcholine levels — just like Benadryl lowers them.

                  Common sense, and published studies, show that high acetylcholine cause not only anxiety, but convulsions, seizures, muscle twitching and spasms if there is no acetylcholinesterase to break it down.

                  Acetylcholinesterase is depleted in B12 deficiency among others.


      • Further, how does our brain get choline if it doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier? (I’m not pretending I know, or that the rat studies are conclusive.) I do know with painful acuity that choline bitartrate and lecithin affect my mental state. I just don’t know why. Maybe it’s a digestive issue?

        I like your articles, by the way. You’re a well reasoned man. You should do one on lithium orotate. :)

  33. This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
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  34. For what it it worth, I am 67 years old and have been taking lecithin since I was a teenager (my father was into natural foods). For years I have taken a non-GMO lecithin product
    that I mix into my morning homemade yoghurt. I put in two heaping teaspoonfuls. This I eat religiously every day. My blood pressure today was 99 over 59 with a 57 pulse. This
    is normal for me. I gave up smoking six months ago and had smoked two packs a day for 50 years. I feel great. Despite the smoking I have hiked almost every day for 50 years.
    Lecithin gives me such a feeling of well-being that the few times I run out of it I can really tell the difference. I do recommend this highly and know in my heart it is good for the human body.

  35. Through it all, I believe that everyone is different. We all have different reactions. I was on 80 of Lisinopril (it only comes in doses of 40) baby aspirin and Amlodopine for HBP. Pressure was at 150+/90 sometimes 102. I started drinking 8oz of beet root juice mixed with/pineapple/carrot/parsley/1/2tbs fresh lemon juice with 1/2tsp or Ceylon cinnamon and raw honey. BP is 107/71 no meds. Doc took me off and had no idea about what I was using. Natural is always the best way. Those who believe, believe. Those that don’t, don’t. I’d rather pay for something that works naturally than to put my life in the hands of doctors, who are sometimes very good, but they only have a license to “PRACTICE”. I’ve gone back to Eden. Healthier, safer, and trustworthy. By the way I turned 65 in November and people think I’m 15 – 20yrs my junior. Do the research for yourselves and find something that works for you. It’s out there but you have to search.

    • HI Carolyn, I am glad to learn about your success managing your blood pressure naturally. We are big advocates of food and exercise as medicine. I think it important to point out that when it comes to supplements (pills and powders and other formulations of vitamins and other substances, despite being medicine, they are unregulated in the US. Also, we know that vitamins probably work differently – more effectively when ingested in the context of whole food, not pills. We hope you continue your healthy lifestyle and be well.

  36. I found this article when googling “does lecithin improve cognition”. I started using this daily in vegan baking and noticed within a few months, that I was much sharper and was had clearer thinking. It really works for me.

    • One of my work mate’s step dad took a tablespoon of lecithin every day and credits that for staying mentally sharp until his death at age 98.

  37. Shame shame mr. Doctor… Perhaps get your ignorant head out of your ass and actually DO some research. If you did, instead of spreading false propaganda and using your “degree” in an advantageous way to try and fool those that think a doctors words and opinions are like god, then you’d realize that there is plenty of research that backs up many claims associated with lecithin and choline intake. And my god, anyone still stuck on the notion that fat is what makes people fat, needs to open their eyes and inform yourself. There’d indigenous tribes out there in the world with diets that boast saturated fat percentages of %70 +. I can’t believe it’s 2017 and we still have clowns like this writing bullshit articles, resting on some phony piece of paper… Oh I mean degree sir lord majesty. Please enlighten me with more of your bullshit

  38. So is non gmo soy lecithin better than sunflower lecithin ? NOW brands, Lewis Labs, Life Extension?? Any recommendations?

  39. Excellent website. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
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  41. I don’t normally comment on these forums but I must say I bought lecithin in hopes that it would help with a fatty liver. I don’t know how well it will work for that because I’ve only taken it for two days but after the first night I woke up feeling noticeably less pain from my fibromyalgia and from the first time I took it, i had one of the most restful sleeps I’ve had in a long time as I also suffer from insomnia. I said to my mom wonder if it’s my imagination but I contined feeling better after day 2 of taking it. I’d say it’s worth a try. I use sunflower lecithin though as I find I get stomach issues when I take soy products.

  42. One interesting point is that lecithin is an emulsifier agent so when taken with a powerful anti-oxidant like delta tocotrienol, it enhances the anti-cancer properties… google the terms “tocotrienol apoptosis” and you will find countless studies on the cancer killing benefits.

  43. Lecithin did not work for me. I developed heart palpitations when I began using it. I’m glad I came across this article because it confirmed for me what I was experiencing. If lecithin works for you, fine, keep using it. But there are no miracle supplements that work for 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time.

  44. The doctor got owned by the internet.
    You are killing people. I hope pharma gave you that bridge, to make up for all the people you kill with your nonsense.

  45. Im 25 and I’ve just started taking lecithin to help with my blood pressure as Im looking into getting back into professional sports after a many year lay off. I first heard about lecithin when I was a door to door salesperson and I chanced upon a 90 something year old man with a large gut but spoke and acted as healthy as ever. For some reason we got to talking about health and he kept telling me about the benefits of Lecithin and convinced me to research and try it out. The book he showed me was some encyclopedia of health from the 1950s or some similar era. But seeing the health of this man in his mid 90s living alone in his own home and boasting about lecithin non-stop has convinced me that its worth looking into. Something to note might be that the lecithin of his day was probably more natural and maybe derived from egg yolk but I don’t know for sure.

  46. Comment:it is so sad to see how pharmaceutical drugs destroys many lifes everyday but medical professionals keep on recommending such poison.

    I nearly died in hands of medical professionals prescription of their synthetic drugs and hormones . but since I started my regime of lecithin and iodine I am free from migraine, irregular heartbeat, irregular periods and I am looking forward to a healthy natural life.

    Dr on this conversation is a real hypocrite . but I am not surprised because medicine professionals vowed hypocratic oath .

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    • Interesting reading , it makes some sense , going to give this supplement a try anything better than statins , my GP actually said that there is a change in his thoughts on statins and he wasn’t going to force me on them

          • boom… everything goes silent.

            Of course, they need to discredit PC, besides they dont understand all the science, they are MDs, NOT scientists.

        • Hi Doc:

          Im curious as to how we can continue to pass these off as safe and beneficial, when there is no correlation with their usage and the lowering of mortality in the absense of an initial stroke? Furthermore, they are proven ineffective in improvement of all lipid markers without taking extremely high doses. This is why we see omega-3’s prescribed alongside.

          Increasing risks of type 2 diabetes, liver toxicity, along with serious musculature concerns makes these perhaps more of a risk than a benefit, don’t you suppose?

          We know of a few compounds which safely improve lipid markers and lipid metabolism, without these concerns.

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  51. I believe that there is truth that Soy Lecithin can bring on Heart Attacks and Strokes. I have a heart condition called SVT and whenever I eat any foods that have Soy Lecithin, my heartrate increases. It hasn’t brought on an attack yet but I try to stay away from any foods with Lecithin in it. That also goes for many other different kinds of food additives and preservatives. My cardiologist says I have possibly developed food sensitivities. Almost all of my SVT attacks have been brought on by a food that I have eaten that has additives in it. A diet as natural as possible is the best for all of us. I also don’t believe anymore in taking any supplements…they’re loaded with all kinds of preservatives and chemicals that aren’t good for us. Also, a suggestion, if I may for the gal who gives her son Soy Lecithin for his Tourette’s….I too struggled with my son for many years trying to get a handle on his tics and other Tourette behaviors, I know it’s hard….in the end, it was keeping him physically active and I mean really active that helped him most with calming down his tics. It gets better as they get older so just hang in there! Very Interesting article.

  52. I had a stroke 5 years ago it left me unable to talk and I could not use my right hand. I am better now I can say words slowly. I was taking soy lecithin regularly I don’t remember why.

  53. That is very flimsy evidence.
    Lecithin in the blood could be a result of the body not metabolising it into acetylcholine properly which controls muscle contraction.

  54. I have started taking lecithin because I have been breastfeeding for about two years and suddenly I was getting clogged ducts at least once or twice a week. HORRIBLY PAINFUL!! A friend suggested this and after one day of a double dose and a day of just a regular dose, the clog was gone. I take 1 capsule (1200 mg) daily and have not had a clog since.

    I can’t see how this stuff is so bad for you???

  55. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you are talking about!

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  57. I have been searching for lecithin info, as I take quite a bit for my recurring mastitis. I have gained weight! UGH.

  58. I had my cholesterol level tested 2 yrs ago and it came back as 6.5. my GP said I was have to get it down and we would try diet first before going on statins. I was worried because I am very active and have a good diet of natural foods don’t like fatty foods. A friend recommended Lecithin as her husband had used it. I bought the granuals and sprinkled them over my muesli and soup and potatoes. Went back 4 weeks later and cholesterol was 5.2.. my GP was amazed it had come down so much so quickly. I was pleased with myself, so thought That’s all I need to do..Recently I had another blood test and it is up to 6.7! So I have started Lecithin again, this time I am not going to stop.

  59. What if the metabolites of lecithin were in the blood stream after a heart attack or stroke to help heal the damage?
    Interesting how the doc jumped to the other conclusion.

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  61. That you spent your time writing about this weak research on the so-called dark side of lecithin rather than taking aim at poisonous pharmaceuticals shows your extraordinary bias. It would’ve been nice to see some scientific objectivity. Really, impugning lecithin! How can you defend this travesty in light of all the documented horrors of big pharma’s drugs, regularly dispensed.

  62. Thanks for all the info! I have some autoimmune conditions, celiac, hashimoto, and reactive hypoglycemia all of which make me feel like I’m on a roller coaster. I also have trouble with soy, my question is do the non-soy products work just as well?

  63. Hi! Congratulations for your blog, and for your work. I have a auto-immune disease, so i´m special sensitive for the things i eat and/or suplement. And something very unusual happens to me after suplemented with lecithin. i was with my mestruation and after i take the lecithin like 3/4 hours, just stop completely. After that, and becouse with time i learn how to interpretate my body, i suspect that maybe this is not so good after all. I fund your blog after this becouse my intuition tells me thats something not right. I will continuo my research about this, and thanks for your information and apreciation on the topic becouse it was really a good starting point.

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  67. Lecithin, aka egg yolk, constitutes multiple phospholipids, all necessary for good health. So, we know, there is a definite need for these lipids, if one wants to remain healthy. We know a myriad of side effects, which, result from deficiency.
    By this point, I hope the Doc has kept up with research that fats; saturated especially, have been falsely demonized. They are essential and healthy.
    Regarding studies; the same criticisms you assault the supplement industry with, can be applied to pharma lobbyists, and the FDA. No different. Anyone can design a study, to give you the results you want, and diminish the bad. Which, is why we end up with drugs like Vioxx.
    Dr’s have practically zero understanding of the importance of food and it’s overwhelming impact on good health outcomes. There’s no money in nutrition for Pharma, or Dr’s. When your income is based on volume, things won’t change under our current system. Put all Doc’s on salary, give them proper nutritional training, educate the public on diet, and watch things change. That’s the way we bring costs down, extend life, and enjoy the fruits of a healthy society; one living up to its potential as a whole.

    • Thanks for your contribution, I agree with all your points. I am so glad I scrolled down after reading the doctors comments. I am just beginning with lecithin but I put credibility for those who have taken it for a while and see results. The doctor doesn’t.

    • Great thoughts Chris but I’m sure that last paragraph will be thrown in the ” when hell freezes over” bin!

    • There are so many variables involved with internal medicine that how can anyone possibly know what is best for any given individual ? Let’s also not forget to include quantum physics into the equation. For instance, let’s take the G-D particle, or Higgs Boson particle, supposedly the building block of the universe, and it’s influence on the human body. Although only recently identified, scientists have already learned something very interesting about this particle. What they found is that when they shunt a particle through a gate, it behaves differently when it is being directly observed by a human, then when it is being recorded in a video. In other words, matter itself is influenced by human observance. So put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. MD.

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  69. it is interesting to hear the different comments, my experience with lecithin has for the most part and as far as I can tell been very positive, I started taking about 2 months ago and I have noticed a definite improvement in my memory, so I will continue to take it and also recommend it to my friends.

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    • Hello Jacinto,

      Thank you for coming to our site and reading our posts. We appreciate any feedback you have for us. So, really, thank you for informing us that there are a few posts that need to be fixed. Do you by chance know of which ones you read that needed to have the spelling corrected? We have over 4000 posts so it would be helpful to know which ones need to be fixed. We hope to hear back from you soon!

      The TDWI Team

      • No post needs to be fixed. We come to these places sick, tired, and between family needs (dinners cooked) and work breaks for knowledge and to support our thoughts. So we type fast, especially when we are older, and don’t have time always to see that the index finger hit an “s” instead of the “a”. And some of us, well, we can’t spell great. When we get an idea, we think fast and type fast. To go check words every other line is like wathing an eagle follow the river when we are up to bat. It wipes out original thoughts.

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  72. Approach of your article too negative and i used lecithin for many years…..it certainly increase your semen quantity…….and protect your fat consumption after a heavy fat meal of beef…i am heart patient i can only eat beef if i add little lecithin after meal………..

    • As I said in many of my posts and reply to comments, association does not causation make. Having said that, when I see claims that something, lecithin or otherwise, can protect your heart from animal fat, make your thinking clear, increase your semen count, to name a few of those miraculous effects, my index of suspicion rises significantly. So I check the legitimate literature, and behold: other than claims and testimonials there is absolutely nothing to substantiate the claims. Now, unlike the true believers, I don’t have the certitude on the matter that they have. So I am looking for evidence, and I until it comes -I have grave doubts.
      In term of your specific case of consuming animal fat with the hope that lecithin will neutralize its effect, I suggest you consult your cardiologist.

  73. The apparently slightly negative general impression you convey about Lecithin seems to relate to the fact that some of it must comprise “fatty acids”.

    As we know not all “fatty acids” are bad. I would even argue that oxidants (as differing from antioxidants) are needed by the immune system (for example)!

    The formulaeic concepts, often espoused by medical professionals – this good, that bad – must surely be considered simplistic at the very least.

    The presence of metabolites of Phosphatidyl Choline in people with heart disease etc. might well indicate that the body is utilising the PC to combat damage or disease in them. Precisely because they are under attack from these diseases.

    There is no logical correlation (so far shown) that shows whether PC (and therefore Lecithin) is helpful or harmful.

    Your article seems to underline the dilemma that conservative medicine finds itself in. Doctors, , I believe, on the whole, “weigh in” against alternative experiential “evidence” and reject self-treating and benign self-experimentation by their patients. To not consider widespread “unscientific” testimony is possibly one of the biggest mistakes our “modern” medical professionals and the pharmaceutical industry make.

    • Frank, you are absolutely right that correlations don’t make causation, and the study I cited falls into this category. Having said that, I think that it was appropriate, even incumbent upon us, to report on the study and leave the decision to the reader. In a more general vein, you really don’t know that what you are taking contains the amount of lecithin that is on the label, or that there is any lecithin at all in the bottle. Study after study carried out by reputable investigators and laboratories (not industry) showed that depending on the supplement between 20-80% of the samples were outright fraudulent. The problem doesn’t lie with the drug industry, or the “medical establishment”. Rather, it is our corrupt congress that received billions of dollars from the supplement industry and passed a law that prohibit the FDA from requiring the supplements industry from documenting safety and efficacy. Wouldn’t you want to know that the lecithin you think you are taking is actually there? that it is in the amount stated on the label? that it is safe? that its claims of efficacy are true? Ignorance is not bliss, and the vociferous defense of the supplements industry by people conned into blindly trusting their claims plays into the hands of a corrupt congress and corrupting industry money. If you want to see a damning account of supplements watch the latest PBS Frontline. Investigative journalism at its best.

      • I’m sure there is truth to there not be consistent standards in some supplements. However, there ARE pharmaceutical grade supplements which ensure you are getting what it says on the label and what you are paying for, and I have no qualms about using Lewis Labs Lecithin. To be fair, properly prescribed and properly taken drugs are somewhere around the top 4th leading cause of death. But those lobbyists have lots of money to throw around…funny you should mention how the news will attack supplements but where is that same concern over drugs and vaccines that are injuring and killing people? And now law has been passed to protect them but not their victims! Grrrr. As I say, the pharmacomafia has deep pockets, they should from their obscene profits, and it still isn’t enough for them because if they had their way they would shut down natural remedies in a heart beat. They’ve tried.

        As someone who worked in the hotel industry for many years, I witnessed first hand how the pharma companies would wine and dine, and pay for rounds of golf and spa treatments for the docs and their wives and send all their young and physically attractive reps to these conferences. So yes, while I want to make sure I’m getting the supplements I’m paying for, I also would like to see the pharma companies held just as accountable. And have them stop fudging their trials and getting their drugs out despite the serious risks of their drugs. And it takes a lot of deaths and drug injuries to get that drug pulled. By then they’ve made money hand over fist, and they are happy to settle out of court.

        Doctors these days are sadly not so much about really practicing medicine as it used to be, but writing prescriptions for drugs. But that never stops them from being haughty over natural supplements and medicine. Western medicine has it’s place, and I’m glad it’s there for emergencies…but other than that they can stay out of my business.
        They’ve attacked vitamin C for crying out loud, and we know how very effective that can be especially in mega doses and in IV form. So their self serving hypocrisy doesn’t give them much credibility in those who are awake and want to guide their own health care. And on that note…journalism is also very suspect these days, they are all bought and paid for and report just what they want people to believe. There is a definite agenda!

        • Thanks for your contribution, I agree with all your points. I am so glad I scrolled down after reading the doctors comments. I am just beginning with lecithin but I put credibility for those who have taken it for a while and see results. The doctor doesn’t.

      • DOV Michaeli,
        “The problem doesn’t lie with the drug industry or the “medical establishment”.” That has to be one of the most outrageous statements I’ve heard. The medical industry, e.g., schools, journals, individuals, was bought out decades ago by big pharma. The supplement industry had to lobby the government to avoid a take-over by big pharma and the medical community for a good reason. If you think for one instant big pharma and the medical establishment are scrutinizing research and looking after people’s health you are seriously living in a bubble. The current medical community has had more to do with skyrocketing illness post-WWII than any other entity. Are we supposed to trust the government and medicine to look after our health? The lipid hypothesis and the pathology and treatment of diabetes are just two of many examples of why not to have trust. And as far as monitoring supplements for safety, I’ll take the supplement industry over the drug and medical industries, and government any day. Antidepressants, cholesterol lowering drugs, vaccines, and on and on, make a health practitioner like myself, sick. And I haven’t even mentioned the food and edible oil industries that have also bought the medical establishment.

  74. I read a rebuttal to the paper in Nature that stated though Lecithin metabolism does in fact generate “some” TMAO (which the body apparently eliminates quite swiftly), most all forms of seafood have been shown to cause remarkably higher spikes of blood TMAO. The implication being, if lecithin is bad, most any/all forms of seafood would be dreadful. No more seafood for you!

    Choline has also recently been reclassified as an essential nutrient and one of the earliest symptoms of choline deficiency is the development of fatty liver. Eliminate dietary (or supplemental if your diet is deficient) choline at your peril. It may produce trivial amounts of TMAO, but it’s not an optional nutrient if you wish to enjoy good health!

  75. I have made a commitment to try lecithin for a whole year with 2 or 3 heaping tablespoons a day. I started on Halloween day. Already i’ve noticed a difference in my mood and complexion. Will also see in a later date if my ldl cholesterol comes down or not.

  76. I doubt lecithin is a cure-all for all of life’s problems, and I know that most supplement manufacturers are a bit crooked — but yikes! What a scare tactic here.

    I bet water is found in large concentrations within the bodies of heart attack and stroke victims. Let’s petition the government to ban that awful awful dihydrogen monoxide.

    • In fact, water is not found in abnormal concentrations in heart attack and stroke victims. The study I cited did not make any any recommendations, pro or con. It just presented the facts. It is up to every individual to weigh the evidence, consider the pros and cons, and makes his or her mind.

      • There were a lot of facts missing. Many extraneous variables can effect the rsults of a study. Questions I, as a researcher, would ask are:
        How and why were these particular subject’s blood chosen for the study?
        Were the patients on lecithin supplementation?
        Did the patients have any gastro-intestinal diseases such as ulcer (helico bacter pylori)IBS, Chron’s, colon cancer, pancreatitis, or other digestive disorder?
        What was the age of the patients in the study?
        What was the severity of the heart attacks?
        What co-morbid disorders did these patients have?
        And there are many more that could be asked. And researchers know that to show cause and effect, human studies would have to be conducted and following your logic on the danger of lecithin, this would be entirely unethical.

        Complete knowledge about the study sample and a second study that shows a repeat of these results are all needed before a fully informed decision can be made. Studies must be replicated to rule out faulty data collection and other possible problems with just one study. I did not see a like to a peer-reviewed journal article with this study, a must if I am to make a fully informed decision.

  77. One thing I do have to tell you is that since I started Lecithin, my orgasms are a lot stronger I believe because of the larger load of semen released. Not trying to be funny or anything, this product works.. At least when it comes to that.

  78. In the erstwhile, you’re going to prescribe your patients medicines with clinical evidence of causing heart attacks, like Meloxicam. Right, Doc?

  79. Incredibly unscientific, this claim. Since lecithin is in everyone and not just provided by supplements, we need to know if people suffering from heart conditions have faulty lecithin metabolism. Secondly, we need to know if those who have been found with elevated levels of these metabolites were, in fact, on lecithin supplements. Since these supplements are less commonly taken than they were in the past, my guess is that most of them probably were not.

    • If you read carefully this Brazilian study you find out that the study was conducted with 30 subjects, woefully inadequate sample size for drawing any statistical inferences. Furthermore, they were “selected”, not randomly assigned. Thirty out of how many? What were the selection criteria? We are not told.
      I am not impugning the authors’ intentions, only their experimental procedures. As to the substance, they claim a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol. The paper I am quoting in the post does not claim causation, only association, with TMAO, a lecithin metabolite that is associated with heart disease. Is LDL the sole culprit in heart disease? Definitely not. With all the research going into cardiovascular disease, we still don’t know more than we do.

      • Lethicin was a god sent for my son. He has tourette syndrome and as long as he takes lecithin capsules in a maximum form, by that I mean all at once. The dose increases as body weight goes up. In grade 4 he took 9 capsules of 1200mg capsules and like I said as his age and weight went up so did the number of capsules. It did without doubt took away his symptoms like the swearing and the involuntary muscle movements and the jerking and his concentration was much better. After this worked for my son, I wanted to shout it from the roof top but a lot of people are not open minded when it comes to natural health remodies. I encourage anyone who knows someone suffering with tourette syndrome to pass this on. When I questioned the doctor about this, he said he could not percribe this but what it did was block the dopamine going to the brain and tourette syndrome is too much dopamine going to the brain. I don’t know how accurate that is but what I do know is it works to take away or reduce symptoms of tourette syndrome.

  80. Doc, there is no evidence that you accept because there is no money in studying it using the ultra-expensive studies that you will accept. Open your eyes.

  81. Folks this says DOV. NOT DR. Lady you are full of crap. I take this stuff daily. If I miss a week because of vacation, I notice it. My Blood pressure has gone down, I think clearer. So stuff it. I bet you also believe the FAD. I didn’t know just anyone could post crap on the Internet and call it the truth… Do your research…better yet. Just shut up.

    • True, it says “Dov”, bur following the last name it says MD, PhD.

      HOWEVER, I take nonGMO lecithin granules, and have taken it as pure oil and capsuled oil. When I take the oil form 1TBSP, i have an incredible amount of energy! In fact, I made the mistake of taking it in the evening and was bustling around till the wee hours of the morning! That happened to my mom, as well. We learned to take it in the morning!

      Whether or not it has a negative impact in the lives of others, I don’t know. All a person can do is say what works for them.

      I decided and it will remain a part of my healthy lifestyle choices.

  82. Supplementing with soy lectithins has helped a lot with my recent symptoms of irregular heart beats, shortness of breath, and constant discomfort in my chest. I was on a very healthy diet before these symptoms, as well as participating in vigorous exercise. I went to many doctors and cardiologists and a lady recommended lecithins so I decided to try it. I was going through symptoms everyday for 4 months but once I started supplementing, it probably only took 1-2 weeks to notice relief from this horrible experience. I’m looking forward to getting back to my regular self again. But I truly believe this has benefited my health. I literally had to put my life on hold for months, and had made too many expensive visits to specialists,ER’s ,and even Hopkins (which was going nowhere).

  83. Thanks for the interesting comments. Jay’s comment actually makes a lot of sense -lecithin is an emulsifier, and it could conceivably dissolve sludge or even a small size gallstone and thus relieve the symptoms. But so far, this is an experiment with N of 1 (sample of one). A proper trial would be very interesting. The other comments suffer from the same problem: they are testimonials that amount to N=1. None of them quoted a peer reviewed trial, the gold standard in clinical trials. Only such trials can demonstrate cause and effect.
    Gary Sellars comment is a bit over the top. To equate physicians to the mob is insulting. Yes, there are bad actors among physicians, just like in society at large. But there are thousands who put their lives at risk treating awful epidemics such as ebola, or the sick and injured in combat zones.

    • It’s difficult to decide whether to play it safe in light of the information you provided, or take a chance and move forward with the highest quality soy lecithin from a reputable lab. As a middle-aged man who is managing his diabetes, and given a choice of playing it safe or giving something a try based on anecdotal information from personal experiences, I tend to be risk adverse and play it safe.

      However, I’m asking after reading your article, were those with a correlation of lecithin metabolites with heart attacks and strokes, consumers of lecithin supplements? If not, then are the results an argument to avoid all foods containing lecithin, and if so, does that mean cutting out nutritious foods with benefits that may offset their lecithin content? Not knowing if those suffering heart attacks and strokes, whose conditions correlated to the presence of lecithin metabolites, were (a) consumers of foods containing lecithin; (b) consumers of lecithin supplements; or (c) personally not metabolizing lecithin properly due to perhaps lecithin intolerance or allergies, well, these factors appear unknown (or you would have mentioned them). Thus, I feel that I’m making a health decision based on weighing risk factors, similarly to choosing a mix of investments for my life savings (which could make or break my retirement). Just like I don’t dare just sit on my retirement money, too fearful of any risk, I must make a decision on choosing the highest quality supplements to physical survive retirement with hopefully a decent quality of life.

      I feel moved to try soy lecithin because in spite of eating a pristine, low-fat diet without sugar, and getting a reasonable amount of activity, my recent diabetic retinopathy showed, for the first time, slight evidence of retinopathy. I’m not getting any younger, I’m faithfully taking 1,000 mg of Metformin in the morning and again at night, and I’m trying to move rationally (but not panicked) to supplementation such as soy lecithin, salmon oil from wild sources, vitamins from reputable labs (vs. the drugstore variety), lots of organic salads with organic whole rye, lots of water, no meat (except wild fish on occasion), and keeping my fingers crossed.

      • Don’t use commercial/generic soy lecithin, if you think/decide a soy lecithin-based product is what you want then go for non-gmo organic soy product manufactured by a reputable health supplement company (Canadians or Europeans are best since they are regulated by third party agencies for purity, quality control/good manufacturing practices invested in their products).
        Personally i’m not a fan of any kind of soy product, I suggest you try sunflower lecithin.
        My humble recommendation comes from my last 10 yrs experience as a certified fitness trainer/nutritionist with emphasis towards sport medicine.
        I see that you are following an specific regime of food intake and exercise, that’s great regardless of your condition, the extend of the benefits you’ll get is definitely worth the effort.
        My advise, try a moderate fat intake rather than low, choose supplemental fats like fish oil and coconut oil (2 teaspoons a day and grill your food with it, just a dab) for dietary consumption.
        Make all your carbs be complex carbs from cruciferous vegetables, vegetables high on bioflavonoids/carotenoids (do not boil them but steam them, buy them whole and fresh nothing canned) and oatmeal only.
        Also buy supplemental nutritional fiber ( and I don’t mean Metamucil) for this you need to visit a real health food store.
        Eat lots of clean protein such as skinless chicken or turkey breast, wild caught fish never farm-raised (Tilapia has natural low levels of mercury) get a chart that indicates fish with lowest level of mercury, and last but not least get a good clean whey isolate powder product, use it in between your solid food meals 1 serving (30g) in the morning and another after your workouts, also as you said drink lots of water (squeeze a couple of good size lemons in every gallon of water).
        Your total daily caloric intake must be based on the weight target you want to achieve, make sure your physical training or “reasonable amount of activity” provides the necessary caloric deficit on a day to day basis. Divide your total daily caloric intake into 5 to 6 meals a day, am guessing you should at least be around 2200 cal. no less perhaps more, remember that extreme calorie-restricted diets don’t work ( 1200-1600 cal.)
        This eating plan will raise your metabolism (BMR) and will promote an overall healthy Ph (7.0 – 7.5) chemistry level in you body.

    • Dov,
      You are completely whacked. Not everything by its nature can be studied in the way you desire. If you disagree check out what Dr. Rhonda Patrick says. She works with Dr. Bruce Ames (Ames Test). If Doctors are not evil than the guards watching over the trains of Jews in WWII where not evil either. LOL

      Look at chemo therapy. The medical industry takes in hundreds of billion and it fails 96% of the time. No other industry survives with that kind of failure rate! People think of MD’s like Gods. At best, they are involved with disease management. I want cures not chronic management that lines the pockets of Big Pharma and MD’s.

      Doctors don’t even eat their own journals which makes things work. Yes, they are busy but so are day labors working the fields. Big Veg. don’t have the money to invest in double blind studies. Big Pharma won’t publish studies that go against their share holders.

  84. And adrenalin turns up in those who are scared -it gets you out of trouble. Surely a high amount in the gut is trying to counteract the heart attack bt too little too late

  85. My lifestyle is not too healthy, for nine years my wellman checkups showed my bad cholesterol as borderline high. Pretty stable set of results I’d say. A friend recommended Lecithin some time in 2013. I take two large softgels in the morning, each contain 1360mg of soya lecithin, according to the bottle. My last wellman checkup showed my cholesterol at a very healthy level. My doctor who sails and is skinny as a rake told me it is actually lower than hers, she was astonished. Nothing else in my diet or lifestyle has changed. That’s the only case study I need for now. I’ve been waiting for my next wellman to see if this is continued (in fact I just realized I should have had it this month).

  86. Many years ago a dear friend of mine noticed that her Mom was having memory problems. She would repeat herself and ask the same questions over and over. My friend put her Mom on 3 Triple lecithin (1200 mg) capsules with each meal. Within 2 weeks she no longer had issues with her memory.
    As an aside, I have studied in the field of functional nutrition/supplementation for over 40 years. Lecithin is a potent fat emulsifier, much more likely to positively impact the heart. There is too much to the process to go into here, but one thing the heart depends on to function normally is free fatty acids. Lecithin can help liberate these so that they can be used by the cells for fuel rather than stored as fat either in the organs or blood vessel system.

  87. OK, I’ll decide. With the wrongful deaths of the medical industry at 100,000 a year in the U.S. alone… well, I could go on, but your silence on that *FACT* sends sirens wailing about your lack of credibility(!) and the compounding factors in the medical industry’s DECEIT makes the other factors superfluous.

    Suffice it to say, trusting doctors is like trusting the government or trusting the mob. I’ll search the facts out myself and put the medical industry AT THE VERY BOTTOM of the list in CREDIBILITY.

  88. I was diagnosed with gallbladder sludge and gastritis in August of 2012. For months i was seeing different gastroenterologists who encouraged me to consider having my gallbladder removed. For months they had me on PPI and actigall. None of which worked. Within 2 days of taking soy lecithin right before bed, my gallbladder pains virtually disappeared. It’s been about 2 weeks now (June 2013) and i have not felt this relieved since i started having those pains and attacks on my right side.

    • Thanks for contributing, Jay. The millions of negligent homicides by the medical industry exposes their singular motive of money being their God, with the “care of patients” not being able to be found on the list by me.

      That’s not to say that some doctors are exceptions. I knew there are exceptions, but a good honest doctor being an exception is a tragic testimony of the industry that killed both my parents.

    • Hi, can you tell me how much you were taking as I have gallstone too! I bought sunflower lecithin 1200 mg. but I don’t know how many to take a day. Can you please reply!

      • Do what you must ! But read more…. Find the book Vitamin C and how to use it
        by Stephen Sheffrey, D.D.S. Vitamin C can help remove that stone too….

      • Best forum comments on it pointed to using up to 2-4 GRAMS of phosphatidylcholine per day (basically lots as much as needed), and GB-3 (from endomet labs) to get the bile moving.
        It softens the stones and lets them move out.

    • I too was diagnosed with gallstones in 2010. Since then I had 2 emergency trips to accident and emergency. The last in 2012. My doctor made me sign a disclaimer for refusing to have my gall bladder removed. My reason for refusal is that we have keloid skin in our family and even laparoscopic surgery would mean I would be left with at least 4 tumour style scars that would continue to grow and are painful. I researched on the internet about gallstones under conventional and natural remedies. Went in to health shops and asked. One natural remedy stood out. Soy Lecithin. And the health shop recommended it also. I bought the Mega Lecithin from Holland and Barratt 1360mg. Started taking it. After 2 weeks my gallbladder was no longer irritated, no pain or discomfort. It is now May 2017 and I have not had a Gall Bladder attack since 2012. I am not on Lecithin constantly. Once or twice a year I go on a course for a month and that’s it. Unfortunately, taking out the Gall Bladder does not necessarily solve the pain problem. Some people still have pain? Really don’t know why that is? Others can develop Type 2 Diabetes but Doctors don’t warn you about this! Of course, in an emergency situation, where your life is at stake it is a doctors decision to take out your Gall Bladder. My suggestion is don’t wait for the next attack. Take Soy Lecithin 1360mg. It work by thinning the bile in the body. thick bile in the body causes stones to form in the Gall Bladder and also causes them to move and block the ducts causing a Gall Bladder Attack.. It is no wonder that thinning the bile will prevent more stones from forming. Taking Soy Lecithin does not get rid of the stones you already have, unfortunately. Since healthy thin bile helps other organs in the body function at optimum levels it means you may feel a greater sense of wellbeing as organs are functioning better. I wish you improved health!

  89. One study doth not a conclusion make.

    It is not accurate to herald *one* primary study showing a correlation which, the writer himself, said doesn’t necessarily show cause and effect as, well, possibly showing cause and effect. Just like vitamin E being discared as a potentially harmful heart supplement, but only involving studies on d-alpha tocopherol and not the constellation of vitamin E – alpha, beta, gamma, etc.. Put another way, instead of looking through the keyhole….

    I’ll keep taking my lecithin as I have for 20 years – my last 2 stress tests being perfect- until a preponderance of evidence tells me otherwise. I decided.

    • Indeed. In looking at all the comments on this phony article, it’s clear that people are not stupid and are not blind. And the author is on the side of the big pharma. Afterall the website title is ‘the doctor…’. Exactly the type of nonsense a doctor would write. Same type of doctor who is against vitamin C, orthomolecular medicine and write “Surgery, drug treatment and radiation remain the major treatment modalities” when we have several different treatments and cures for cancers which don’t resort to the cut, burn and poison barbaric ways. Shame on you dear ‘doctor’.

  90. Sorry Doc, but I must disagree with your statements about lecithin. High quality lecithin (like a leading brand that is non-GMO and contains 95% phosphatides) is recommended by at least some leading cardiologists. My father was diagnosed with severe heart disease about 10 years ago. It was so bad that the doctors were shocked he had not had an MI already. They wanted to rush him into surgery, but he insisted on handling it in a more natural way.

    His cardiologist told him it would be an uphill battle, but my dad finally reversed his heart disease. Among the myriad supplements he was encouraged to take was 95% phosphatide lecithin – 2 Tbsp daily. He has been taking it for 10 years, and in conjunction with diet, exercise, and other supplements his blood work and disease markers regularly come back looking better than mine (38 years his junior!).

      • Its safer especially if you’re taking higher doses because it’s soy-free. Some conditions require high doses like 10-20 grams. I’ve taken it for around 3 months now and I’ve had no side affects. I take around 10g per day. Not gonna say what for it’s personal but please do own research because there’s many uses with different doses for each. Shop online its way cheaper. I got a good sale from piping rock.com and it had same nutritional facts as the NOW brand. There’s many good reasons to supplement with it and not many side affects.

    • Hi Ryan, I totally agree with you. I really don’t get it why some medical doctors poop on natural and holistic medicine? I guess we have to take our own health into our own hands, because if we rely on the conventional doctors and medications we are for a big disappointment. I don’t care what they say, I go with my own instinct, and do my own research after all if I don’t no body will.

      Bless you

    • Yep right on the money.

      Perhaps this is why trigylceride-based omega-3’s dont perform as well as phospholipid-based omega 3’s in lipid metabolism tests.


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