Choline is an essential nutrient that is vitamin-like and important in a variety of physiological processes, including synthesis of neurotransmitters, methylation reactions, and the normal transportation and breakdown of lipids and fats. In broader terms, choline is involved in healthy liver function, movement in muscles, brain development, and supporting energy.
Choline can be produced in your body in the form of phophatidylcholine, a phospholipid, which is a type of specialized fat molecule. The compound also appears in various foods, particularly eggs, poultry, fish, meat, peanuts and other legumes, dairy products, and cruciferous vegetables. However, many researchers suggest that the average person does not get enough choline. Experts recommend 425 millgrams of choline per day in women while men should take 550 milligrams of choline per day.
Along with food sources, choline can be obtained through supplementation, ensuring that you get enough choline for a healthy body and mind. Popular choline sources include:
Choline plays an important role in the process called methylation, a reaction that results in the addition of a methyl group to a molecule. This is important for general detoxification, nerve signaling, and the creation of DNA.
Choline is most important as a precursor to acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the body. Acetylcholine is involved in a variety of functions and basic processes, including appetite, memory, nerve communication, and muscle movement. Acetylcholine is often nicknamed the learning neurotransmitter for its important role in information processing and memory formation and recall.
Choline Powder Uses and Benefits
Choline works synergistically with vitamins in the B vitamin complex family, particularly vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) and vitamin B9 (folic acid). Much like B vitamins, choline supports brain function and energy.
Studies in animals have found that choline may lead to optimal brain development and influence cognitive function in later life. Studies in rats found that those taking choline had offspring with a higher IQ, while similar studies suggest that choline sources may prevent cognitive decline in elderly subjects.
Choline benefits often center on its promotion of acetylcholine. The increased storage and creation of acetylcholine has been shown to increase communication and stimulation in the brain. This can lead to improved memory and increased learning abilities. Subjects were found to more efficiently recall details. Choline may also improve mental fluidity, which is involved in thinking, writing, and holding conversations.
In the brain, choline may also support the development of nerves and cellular membranes. Some studies have shown that choline may help to repair older cell membranes, allowing them to maintain smooth, healthy functions.
Choline may also be important to physical performance. Studies suggest that choline deficiencies during physical training can cause damage to the liver and muscles. Choline supplementation may contribute to increased physical endurance. Some studies also show that choline may effectively transport fats, promote metabolism, and suppress appetite. This suggests that the compound may be helpful as a weight loss aid.