Lecithin is a substance composed of a mixture of fatty acids. Many of its components are naturally found in your cell membranes, bile, and plasma.
Although there are plenty of online anecdotes about men using lecithin supplements to increase their “load,” there isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that lecithin has any impact on sperm or ejaculate.
Still, some people feel that taking lecithin is worth a shot. Keep reading to learn more about its safety, potential side effects, and clinically supported ways to boost sexual function.
Lecithin may help promote healthy digestion, lower cholesterol, and improve overall heart health.
Because of this, the substance is added to many foods. Food-grade lecithin is produced using the processed oils of soybeans, corn, and safflowers. It’s listed as soy lecithin on ingredient lists.
Most manufacturers use food-grade lecithin to create over-the-counter (OTC) lecithin supplements. In theory, OTC supplements can offer the same health benefits as the lecithin found in your food.
But remember: There isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that taking lecithin supplements will have an effect on the amount of semen you produce when you ejaculate.
In most cases, food-grade lecithin is safe to eat or take as a supplement.
Its U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). This means that adding lecithin to your diet hasn’t been shown to cause any adverse health effects.
However, it’s worth noting that the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. Although pure lecithin supplements are generally safe for consumption, there’s no way to know whether a supplement is composed only of lecithin. You should always read the ingredient list carefully before use.
You should also talk to your doctor before you add any supplement to your diet. Some supplements can interact with OTC and prescription medications, or have a negative impact on certain underlying conditions.
For example, you shouldn’t take lecithin if you’re using topical diclofenac (Voltaren Gel) for joint pain.
Research conducted on rats suggests that it’s safe to ingest up to 84 grams (g) of lecithin per day. Most recommended doses are far below this. You should always follow the dosage information on the product’s label.
Lecithin usually doesn’t cause side effects unless it’s taken at high levels. You should always follow the dosage information on the manufacturer’s label.
In some cases, lecithin may cause:
- abdominal pain
These side effects should subside as your body adjusts to the supplement. If your symptoms worsen or persist for more than a few days, see your doctor.
You should seek emergency medical attention if you begin experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
- swelling of the mouth, throat, or face
- difficulty breathing
- slurred speech
- low pulse
You should keep your doctor informed about any supplements that you’re taking. This will allow them to monitor for changes and help reduce your risk for complications.
For example, the results of one animal study suggest that taking too much lecithin over a long period of time can cause parathyroid gland hyperplasia and myocardial fibrosis. Researchers suspect that this is due to an increase of phosphate in the body.
If you aren’t open with your doctor about your supplementation, they won’t be able to monitor your intake and its potential effect on your health.
The amount and quality of the semen you produce in each ejaculation is related to a combination of several factors. This includes:
- Testosterone levels. Testosterone is a sex hormone that’s responsible for your fertility and sex drive.
- Sperm count. The amount of sperm your body naturally produces can affect how much semen you produce
- Sperm motility. Healthy sperm are measured by how well and how fast they can swim in your semen. This can affect your semen volume.
- Erectile dysfunction. Your ability to get and keep an erection can affect how much semen you produce.
- Libido. Your desire to have sex can impact your semen volume.
Some research suggests that certain supplements can help improve these factors to increase semen volume and overall sexual performance:
- D-aspartic acid (D-AA) supplements may help boost testosterone.
- Fenugreek herb supplements are also linked to increases testosterone.
- Ashwagandha is thought to increase semen volume, sperm motility, and sperm count.
- Maca root may help reduce instances of erectile dysfunction and increase sperm count and motility.
- Zinc may help balance your testosterone levels and sperm quality.
If you’re interested in trying one of these supplements, talk with your doctor before use. They may be able to recommend certain products and offer information about dosage and side effects.
You can try one or more of the following to help improve sexual function and potentially increase semen volume:
- Get regular exercise. Work out or do physical activities for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day. Exercise can improve blood flow to the penis, which can have major effects on your overall sexual health.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep at least six to eight hours a night. Not getting enough sleep can decrease your semen quality.
- Eat a balanced diet. Not getting enough nutrients can affect your physical health, potentially leading to sexual dysfunction.
- Boost your vitamin and mineral intake. Your vitamin C and D levels can affect your fertility and levels of testosterone. Take supplements or regularly eat foods enriched with these vitamins.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol is known to lower testosterone levels, which can affect semen quality.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can lower your sex drive and may increase your risk of infertility.
- Stay relaxed. Use relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises, to keep your stress levels low. Reduced stress levels can help increase your semen quality.
Lecithin hasn’t been shown to increase semen volume, but it’s generally safe to take. It also offers a few health benefits unrelated to sexual function.
You should always talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet. Some supplements can interfere with medication or underlying health conditions.
If you want to increase your semen production or otherwise boost your sexual function, talk to your doctor about proven techniques. They may be able to recommend certain medications or certain lifestyle changes that will help you achieve your desired results.