Benefits of Choline

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Benefits of Choline

Choline

Discovered in 1862 by Andreas Stecker, choline is a vitamin-like substance often associated with B-complex vitamins and is now classified as an essential nutrient. It is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Humans can synthesize choline in small amounts, however insufficient, to maintain normal physiological processes; hence dietary intake is recommended.

Approved by the European Food Safety Authority, choline has been found to contribute to normal homocysteine, lipid metabolism, and helps to maintain normal liver function.

Maintaining normal homocysteine – choline contributes to the maintenance of normal blood concentrations of homocysteine by being involved in homocysteine metabolism. Elevated concentrations of homocysteine in the blood has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lipid metabolism and liver function – choline plays a role in lipid and cholesterol transport and metabolism, precursor of phospholipids, and in the structural integrity of cell membranes. Without adequate phosphatidylcholine, fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver. Choline deficiency is associated with liver damage and the development of fatty liver. However, these effects can be reversed by the administration of dietary choline.

Furthermore, due to its involvement in fat metabolism, research has suggested that choline may also be used as an aid to weight loss and as a performance enhancer during exercise; however, more studies are needed to confirm this action.

One of the most interesting functions of choline, after extensive research, is its potential benefits for nootropic activity and brain development. Nootropic agents are drugs used to specifically facilitate learning or memory, particularly to prevent the cognitive deficits associated with dementias. These drugs act by a variety of mechanisms. While no potent nootropic drugs have yet been accepted for general use, several are being actively investigated and choline is amongst them.

According to Food and Nutrition Board guidance, the safe daily choline intake for men is 550mg and 425mg for women. Tolerable upper levels are at 3.5g a day. Although choline is generally safe, very high doses above 8g a day may cause discomfort and side effects can include: hypotension, sweating, diarrhoea and a fishy body odour.

Choline can be sourced from: liver, muscle meats, fish, peanuts, beans, peas, spinach, broccoli, wheat germ, skimmed milk and eggs. Choline salts, such as choline chloride and choline bitartrate, are also available as supplements.

Feel good and look good with a special formula boosting your energy levels, trimming your body and helping you to achieve your fitness goals. Featuring Choline.

 

Sources

Steven H. Zeisel, “A brief history of choline”, Ann Nutr Metab. 2012; 61(3): 254–258.

William Wagner, “Choline Supplement: Alternative medicine for a healthy body” 2013

Jane Higdon, Ph.D. “Choline”, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/choline#de-novo-synthesis

EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)2, 3 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy, 2011;9(4):2056 http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/scientific_output/files/main_documents/2056.pdf

Gehan Elsawy, Osama Abdelrahman, and Amr Hamza, “Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes”,  J Hum Kinet., 2014 Mar 27; 40: 77–82.

Lisa M. Sanders, PhD, RD and Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD,“Dietary Requirements and Role in Brain Development”,  Nutr Today. 2007; 42(4): 181–186.

Zeisel SH., “Nutritional importance of choline for brain development”,  J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6 Suppl):621S-626S.
Institute of Medicine, “Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline” (1998), http://www.nap.edu/read/6015/chapter/14

 

 

 

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