Choline's metabolism is closely interrelated to that of methionine, and methyl-folate, yet choline is at times treated by some nutritional specialists as a stepchild in nutrition.
Choline is required for
Choline assists in controlling your weight as well as cholesterol levels, keeping cell membranes healthy and in preventing gallstones. It is also most useful in the maintenance of the nervous system, assisting memory and learning, and may help to fight infections, including hepatitis and AIDS. Choline is critical for normal membrane structure and function.
Choline is the major precursor of betaine, and it is used by the kidneys to maintain water balance and by the liver as a source of methyl-groups for methionine formation. It is also used to produce the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
It assists in nerve impulse transmission, gallbladder regulation, liver functions and lecithin production.
Deficiency of choline
A deficiency of choline does not happen easily but if it is deficient it may lead to liver disease, raised cholesterol levels, high blood pressure as well as kidney problems, Choline deficiency may also manifest itself in the inability to digest fats, stunted growth and fatty buildup in the liver.
Memory and brain function could also be impaired.
The dosage underneath is the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
The dosage is relative to the amount of fats ingested in the diet, but for a guide you can use male 550 mg/ per day and female 425 mg per day, although mega dose vitamin proponents use far higher dosages.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
The maximum level of choline has been set for safety at 3.5 g/day.
Taking too much choline could result in your body smelling fishy, may cause nausea, depression, and could trigger existing epilepsy. Hypotension, sweating, salivation and diarrhea have also been reported.
Best used with
Should be taken in the same dose as inositol and together with the B group vitamins as well as vitamin A and linoleic acid
When more choline may be required
Should you consume alcohol, refined sugar or taking large amounts of nicotinic acid you might need extra choline.
Enemy of element
Choline is lost in food processing, storage and cooking.
Other interesting points
Choline, together with fat, inositol and essential unsaturated fatty acids make up lecithin, and needs a co-enzyme containing vitamin B6, and magnesium to be produced.
If lecithin is in short supply it may allow your blood cholesterol levels to become elevated.
Choline is found in egg yolks, beef, wheat germ, oats, nuts
Other useful Vitamin information: Vitamin E | Vitamin B-9 | Vitamin B-3
Page Content: phosphatidyl choline, choline deficiency, choline inositol, choline magnesium trisalicylate .
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