Choline is a naturally occurring nutrient that can be found in food and in dietary supplements. It is a helpful compound and has many benefits to the human body.
The US Department of Health & Human Services recognizes choline as important for metabolism. According to the National Institutes of Health, the human body needs choline “to synthesize phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes.”
Choline is important for both plants and animal cells because it helps cells and tissues remain intact. Also, choline is very similar to Vitamin B, which means the body can easily absorb and dissolve the compound once it is ingested.
Choline And Your Body
Interestingly, your body - particularly the liver - can also produce choline. However, the amount is not very significant, which brings forth the need to consume food rich in choline or take supplements if you want to enhance the benefits of this compound.
Choline can be found in most meats, fish, various nuts and beans, spinach, wheat germ, and eggs. Beef liver is a very good source of choline and is right up there among the top three food sources of choline.
Benefits Of Choline
So what are the benefits of choline? Read on to find out.
#1. It Is Good For The Brain
Choline is good for the brain, particularly for memory. Choline is said to boost your memory, because it is necessary in the production of a compound called acetylcholine. This is an important neurotransmitter and acts as a chemical messenger that enhances the functions of your brain, including memory, mood, and muscle control, among others.
#2. It Is Crucial For Infant Development
Choline is beneficial for infants. As stated above, choline enhances neurotransmission, which is very important during the developmental stages in a baby. Most often, babies who are breastfed can enjoy these advantages because breast milk is also rich in choline.
To maximize the health benefits of choline, commercial infant formula is fortified with choline. Pregnant women who take choline can also help prevent neural tube defects in their babies.
#3. It Can Help Treat Diseases
Choline is known to treat a handful of diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Some research indicates that choline can also be used as a supplement in the treatment of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and dementia.
It can even be used as a supplement to treat other brain-related disorders such as seizures and schizophrenia.
#4. It Is Good For Athletes
Athletes can also enjoy the advantages of choline. It can be used as a bodybuilding supplement. Athletes who engage in strenuous exercises, sports, or endurance competitions can take choline, because it is said to delay fatigue.
How Much Choline Do You Need?
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine said the adequate intake of choline is 550 milligrams per day for men and breastfeeding women. Pregnant women may need 450 milligrams per day. Infants less than 6 months need only 125 milligrams per day. Children from 1 to 3 years old need 200 milligrams, while children 9 to 13 years old will need 375 milligrams daily.
This amount takes into account that an average person’s diet may supply anything from 200 milligrams to 600 milligrams of choline.
Adequate intake is often defined as the average daily intake based on observations or experiments on a group of individuals.
You can use these figures as a guide to determine how much more choline you need to take from supplements.
Where Can I Get Choline Supplements?
Now that you know the benefits of choline, you might be wondering where you can get it.
OPTML is a leader in providing food supplements for better health and wellness.
Whichever of these activities you are most engaged in, you can rest assured that you can get your daily dose of choline supplementation, along with other essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for a healthy and active lifestyle.