Friday, January 15, 2010
What is Choline?
Choline is a water-soluble essential nutrient and usually grouped within the Vitamin B complex (Wikipedia). Although has never been officially listed as part of the B-vitamin group, but most nutritionists lump it in the group because it has similar chemical properties to that group.
Choline is an essential amino acid synthesized in the body as well as consumed in the diet. The body can produce some of its own choline, but it really needs to get supplements from food sources.
Benefits of Choline
What exactly is the benefit of Choline for our bodies? Choline serves various functions in our bodies.
Choline may help prevent memory loss associated with aging. Research suggests that choline positively affects the areas of the brain responsible for memory function and life-long learning ability, especially in developing fetuses and newborn infants, making it an important nutrient for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Choline may also help with brain and memory function in adults and is being studied for its potential role in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors often use choline for cases of Alzheimer's, presenile dementia and bipolar disorder.
Choline plays a role in managing levels of homocysteine. Research suggests that getting enough choline can lower concentrations of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, in the body while choline deficiency can result in increased levels of homocysteine. An increased level of homocysteine is a marker of tissue damage and a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This may help to explain why 30 years of research have shown that healthy adults can consume choline-rich eggs without increasing their risk of heart disease.
Recommended Choline Intakes
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that Americans get the following amount of dietary choline each day
|Infants||0-6 mos||125 mg|
|Infants||7-12 mos||150 mg|
|Children||1-3 years||200 mg|
|Children||4-8 years||250 mg|
|Boys||9-13 years||375 mg|
|Boys||14-18 years||550 mg|
|Girls||9-13 years||375 mg|
|Girls||14-18 years||440 mg|
|Men||≥ 19 years||550 mg|
|Women||≥ 19 years||425 mg|
What is the signs that You Need More Choline?
Research shows that only 1 in every 10 Americans gets the recommended amount of choline each day. If you have a choline deficiency, you may experience insomnia and the resulting fatigue, or develop nerve-muscle problems.
Studies have shown that liver dysfunction and fatty liver damage is linked to diets deficient in choline. Low-choline intake can also lead to memory loss and even high blood cholesterol.
If you have any concerns about your choline levels, please discuss your diet with your doctor.
1 Response to "Choline as an important nutrient"
September 10, 2010 at 10:41 AM