02 Feb What is choline good for? And do you need more of it
Choline is an essential nutrient that is important for brain health, liver health, and overall health. It is found in a variety of foods, and most people get enough choline in their diet. However, if you are looking to increase your intake, there are a number of foods that are high in choline. It has been shown to be beneficial for treating fatty liver disease, and there is limited evidence of its contribution to cognitive function. However, it is important to ensure you don’t get too much, as excess intake can be harmful.
What is the function of choline in humans?
Choline and its derivatives are important for many things in humans and other organisms. The most important thing is that it helps create other essential things in cells, like phospholipids for cell membranes, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and trimethylglycine which helps regulate water levels.
What are the benefits?
Choline is an essential nutrient that is important for a variety of health functions. Some of the benefits include:
– Brain health: plays an important role in brain development and function. It is especially important for pregnant women and young children, as it helps with brain growth and development. It also helps protect against cognitive decline and memory loss as we age.
– Liver health: it is essential for liver health, and can help protect against fatty liver disease.
– Overall health: it is important for overall health, and can help boost energy levels, improve metabolism, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Why is choline useful in the treatment of fatty liver disease?
It helps protect the liver from damage and inflammation and may help improve liver function. It also appears to help reduce fat accumulation in the liver, which can help improve liver health. This benefit was discovered in the 1930s when Charles Best noted that fatty liver in dogs could be prevented by giving them lecithin. In 1932 they proved that it was the choline in lecithin that was responsible for the preventative effect.
How much choline do you need to reverse fatty liver disease?
There is currently no evidence to suggest what the optimal dose of choline is for reversing fatty liver disease. However, a study published in 2016 found that supplementing with 500 mg per day improved liver function in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is likely that higher doses of choline may be needed to achieve significant improvements in liver health.
Are there any risks associated with supplementation?
Yes, there are some risks associated with supplementation. Excess choline can be harmful and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal problems. It can also increase the risk of developing heart disease or cancer. Therefore, it is important to ensure you do not exceed the recommended daily intake.
The daily recommended intake of choline is 550 mg for men and 425 mg for women.
Do you need more?
Choline is found in a variety of foods and most people get enough in their diet and do not need to take supplements. We also synthesise some of the choline we need within our own bodies. However, if you are looking to increase your intake, there are a number of foods that are high in choline. It is especially important for pregnant women and young children, as it helps with brain growth and development.
If you are concerned that you may not be getting enough, speak to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine whether you need to increase your choline intake and can provide advice on how best to do this.
What foods are high in choline?
Choline is also found in a variety of other foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. For a complete list of foods containing high amounts, see the list below.
Food Amount of choline (mg)
– Beef liver: 100 grams contains 293 mg
– Chicken liver: 85 grams contains 271 mg
– Bacon: 50 grams contains 89 mg
– Eggs: 100 grams contains 113 mg
– Soybeans: 100 grams contains 287 mg
– Wheat germ: 28 grams contains 207 mg
– Brussels sprouts – one cup of brussels sprouts contains around 60 mg
Are there any other benefits?
There is limited evidence on the other benefits of choline. However, it may also help improve heart health, reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, and boost energy levels.
What issues can arise if pregnant women don’t get enough choline?
As choline is important for fetal brain development, pregnant women need to ensure they are getting enough of it. A lack of choline can lead to a number of problems, including:
– Neural tube defects – these occur when the neural tube doesn’t close properly during early development. This can lead to serious health issues, such as spina bifida.
– Low birth weight – a lack of this nutrient can lead to babies being born prematurely or at a low weight.
– Impaired cognitive function – there is limited evidence on the impact of this nutrient on cognitive function, but some studies suggest that a lack of choline could impair memory and learning ability.
As you can see, it’s important for pregnant women to ensure they are getting enough choline in their diet. This can be achieved by eating foods that are high in this nutrient, such as eggs and liver. You can also take a supplement if you’re worried you’re not getting enough. Just make sure to speak to your doctor before doing so. It is important to do this because there are risks associated with excess intake.