To find out whether the consumption of lecithin has a more beneficial effect on serum cholesterol than does the consumption of equivalent amounts of polyunsaturated oils, we scrutinized 24 studies on the effect of supplementary lecithin intakes ranging from 1 to 54 mg/d. Most of the studies lacked an appropriate control group, had a small sample size, or had changes in intake of other foods because of increased energy intake from lecithin. In only four trials were attempts made to balance fatty acid intakes of control and experimental groups. There is no evidence for a specific effect of lecithin on serum cholesterol independent of its linoleic acid content or secondary changes in food intake. The observed lecithin-induced hypocholesterolemic effects found in various studies were artifacts caused by the design and the manner of data analysis, were mediated by other dietary changes, or were due to the linoleic acid present in lecithin.