Have you ever been in the vitamin aisle at your local drug store or other store that sells vitamins and run across choline supplements? We have and we wondered, what is choline and do we have to use a supplement to get enough in our bodies? Before you spend your money, read this quick synopsis about choline, what it does, how much you need and how to get it. You can also find out how much choline is too much. Have fun!
Helps maintain structural integrity of cell membranes (helps us age more slowly);
Accelerates the production of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter involved in memory, muscle control and other functions) (improves memory, alertness, clarity, concentration, reduces anxiety and agitation, and other brain functions);
Is a component of bile and lecithins (helps us break down fat);
Is a source of methyl groups needed for DNA methylation (helps us make/repair our DNA);
Metabolic pathways link it with methionine, folate, B6 and B12 (antioxidants that help prevent cancer, birth defects and heart disease);
With adequate protein consumption it is formed by the liver with help from B12 and folate (pretty self-explanatory, right?).
Recommended Daily Allowance
There is no recommended daily allowance but there is an adequate intake level.
Adult men: 550 milligrams per day;
Adult women: 425 milligrams per day.
Liver, eggs, beef, cauliflower, tofu, almonds and peanut butter are all rich in choline.
Low choline intake causes an increase in folate requirements;
Low folate intake causes increased choline requirements;
Research suggests that diets devoid of choline cause fatty liver and liver damage;
Deficiency risk is low in healthy people because it’s widespread in the food supply.
High doses can cause low blood pressure, sweating, diarrhea and a fishy body odor. The upper limit has been established at 3500 milligrams per day.
So, to make this even shorter, eat a varied diet that includes foods like hard boiled eggs, navy beans, cauliflower and tofu and you shouldn’t have a problem getting the required amount of choline to keep you looking hot and feeling healthy. Enjoy!
USDA.gov. United States Department of Agriculture, 27 Jan. 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. <http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/appendd.pdf>.
Insel, Paul M., R. Elaine. Turner, and Don Ross. Nutrition. 3rd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2007. Print.