Lecithin

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

  • Egg lecithin, phosphatidylcholine in lecithin, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin

Introduction

Lecithin is a fat that is needed for human health. It is found in egg yolks and soy products. Lecithin has been used to lower cholesterol and improve brain function. Lecithin can be taken as a pill or powder. It can also be applied to the skin as a moisturizer.

Dosages

300 milligrams 2 to 3 times daily

What Research Shows

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Tardive dyskinesia—unlikely to have benefit B1, B2

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take lecithin in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Interactions
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

References

A Dementia
A1 Higgins JP, Flicker L. Lecithin for dementia and cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(3):CD001015.
B Tardive Dyskinesia
B1 Tammenmaa-Aho I, Asher R, et al. Cholinergic medication for antipsychotic-induced tardive dyskinesia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Mar 19;3:CD000207.
B2 Tammenmaa IA, Sailas E, et al. Systematic review of cholinergic drugs for neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Nov;28(7):1099-1107.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 03/2020
  • Update Date: 06/22/2020