Effect of lecithin on memory in normal adults

Am J Psychiatry. 1983 Aug;140(8):1010-2. doi: 10.1176/ajp.140.8.1010.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of the effect of lecithin on memory test performance, nine normal paid volunteers (age range = 22-55 years) took single oral doses of placebo and lecithin (20 g) 5 hours before cognitive testing. Lecithin raised plasma choline levels during the test session to nearly double the placebo levels, but a categorized serial learning task, a word recognition task, a paired associates learning task, and a test of retrieval by category demonstrated no significant change in memory performance. Lecithin did not selectively enhance memory for low-imagery words. Lecithin also had no effect on psychomotor speed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choline / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphatidylcholines / pharmacology*
  • Placebos
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Placebos
  • Choline