Benefits of Choline
Choline belongs to the B complex vitamins and is essential nutrient. Humans do produce it but the amount is small is insufficient. It is found in yellow brownish fatty substances in the body called lecithin or also called phosphatidylcholine or PC. What this means is choline is a component of lecithin.
So when your diet includes lecithin, you are also getting choline. But the amount of lecithin isn't concentrated. There is only about 13 percent of choline by weight in a lecithin molecule.
One of the functions of choline is to aid in the formation of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is necessary for memory and learning process. Another important role of choline is to help catalyze the breakdown of fat during metabolism in the body.
Listed below are some of the sources of choline. The value is based on 100g of raw or uncooked foods.
Although you can get choline from the foods listed above, processing and cooking will destroy it. And drinking alcohol destroys choline. Just like all the other B vitamins, choline is water soluble. And if you on a vegetarian diet, your source of choline will only come from vegetables, grains, beans and seeds. Rich sources of choline are from animal tissues like meat and egg yolks.
You may need to take choline supplement or lecithin to make up for the deficiency. Adult females require 425mg of choline each day. Pregnant women and women who are breast feeding require a higher amount. An adult male's daily adequate intake for choline is 550mg per day.
Choline supplements are sold as choline, choline chloride, choline bitartrate, choline citrate and inositol choline. These supplements are available in the form of tablets, capsules and liquid. Taking choline chloride, choline bitartrate or choline and inositol is better anyway because the combinations provide additional benefits to choline.
The benefits of choline include improving cognitive function. It helps to improve your mental function and this will enhance your thinking process. Taking choline chloride may help improve memory. You can remember and recall better. It may also help you become more alert.
One of the causes of Alzheimer's disease is a deficiency of acetylcholine in the brain. By ensuring that you get the adequate amount of choline in your diet, you may reduce the risk of this disease.
The Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine and Graduate Studies did a research and found that choline may be effective to reduce the risk of brain damage after a brain injury or brain trauma.
Based on studies made, it was found that one of the benefits of choline is its positive effect on the treatment for bipolar disorder or also known as manic depressive disorder. This may help overcome mood swings without taking any medication.
Choline is an important nutrient for pregnant women to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Choline deficiency may cause birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. This will cause the child to have a problem with memory and intelligence. Mothers who breast feed need choline so that she can provide it to her child from her breast milk. It will help the child develop his brain function. He is more alert and will learn faster
The liver and kidney manufacture carnitine. If there is a kidney disease, there is a deficiency of carnitine. And when there is a deficiency of carnitine, it affects fat burning and may cause build-up of fats in the liver, heart and skeletal muscle. One of the benefits of choline is it helps clears fats in the liver. If the fats aren't removed, it can cause liver damage.
Since choline helps in the breakdown of fats in the body during metabolism, it does help in lowering LDL cholesterol by producing HDL cholesterol. This will help lower your blood pressure and supports cardiovascular health.
And according to studies choline may reduce the levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine has been linked to cardiovascular disease. One of the other benefits of choline is it may reduce the risk of arteriosclerotic vascular disease which is a condition where the wall of the artery thickens due to the build-up of cholesterol or other fatty substances.
The Department of Respiratory Medicine in India did a study on the effects of oral choline on 60 patients with allergic rhinitis. The conclusion made was that choline relieved the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Among the symptoms of choline deficiencies are liver damage, eczema, psoriasis and gall stones.
A few of the side effects of overdose of choline, which is about 10 - 16grams a day, are it can cause body odor, increased sweating and vomiting. Choline may also interact with certain drugs used to treat cancer, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.