Choline is an essential nutrient required for normal bodily function and health. When you see the term “essential” in front of “nutrient,” it means that we need to receive this nutrient from outside food or supplement sources1. Our bodies produce a small amount of Choline in the liver, but it is insufficient for our needs. Choline Bitartrate is simply Choline combined with a salt of tartaric acid, which helps it have a much better absorption rate when ingested into our bodies2.
What Is Choline and Why Is It Important?
Choline is chemically related to the B Vitamins but is neither a vitamin nor a mineral. It is an essential nutrient that is converted into a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which helps many functions in our body, including activating pain responses. Although discovered in 1850, the scientific community only understood its importance in 19982. Choline is synthesized in our liver and can be found in many foods. Our brain and nervous system need Choline to regulate mood, memory, muscle control, and other functions. Unfortunately for vegetarians or vegans, Choline is most commonly found in foods such as :
- Red Meat
Although the foods mentioned above have the richest source of Choline, some vegetables provide your body with Choline as well. It is also helpful to know that most multivitamins do not contain Choline. Most of us, but especially vegetarians and vegans, would benefit from Choline supplementation and the following foods:
- Shitake Mushrooms
- Legumes (peanuts, beans)
- Brussel Spouts
- Sunflower Seeds4
The Role Choline Plays In Our Body
Choline is an essential nutrient that plays a versatile role in our bodies for multi-functional purposes. The functions in which Choline interacts within our bodies are crucial for our overall health and vitality. Some of these functions are:
- DNA Synthesis: Along with B12 and Folate, Choline affects gene expression.
- Cell Maintenance: Our bodies use Choline in the production of fat that produces cell membranes.
- Metabolism: Choline is vital for constructing a substance that removes cholesterol from the liver. Choline is also an important source of methyl groups needed for our metabolism. All plants and animals need choline to retain their structural integrity.
- Functioning of the Nervous System: Our bodies convert choline into a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger, that affects our nerves while playing a role in regulating automatic bodily functions such as breathing and pulse.
- Brain Fog: Since Choline is converted into neurotransmitters in our brain, this aids in reducing brain fog that can occur with nutrient deficiency.
What is The RDI of Choline?
Since Choline is a reasonably new discovery in the scientific community, the recommended daily intake (RDI) has yet to be established. Though they have set specific markers for age groups differentiated by gender to prevent the toxicity of Choline. Here is the recommended daily intake of Choline by different age groups and adult age/gender groupings:
- 0–6 months: 125 mg per day
- 7–12 months: 150 mg per day
- 1–3 years: 200 mg per day
- 4–8 years: 250 mg per day
- 9–13 years: 375 mg per day
- 14–19 years: 400 mg per day for women
550 mg per day for men
- Women: 425 mg per day
- Men: 550 mg per day
(Suggested daily intake of Choline3).
Do I need To Be On A Choline Bitartrate Supplement?
Although Choline deficiency is rare, specific groups of people are at risk. These grouping of people are:
- Pregnant Women – The baby needs Choline for its development, so the conclusion is that the mother needs to replenish her daily amount of Choline.
- Postmenopausal Women – Estrogen levels drop in postmenopausal women, which could lead to a Choline deficiency since estrogen helps produce Choline in the body.
- High-Performance Athletes Levels of Choline drop during extended exercise periods, such as marathon training.
- High Alcohol Intake – Consuming large quantities of alcohol can increase Choline requirements. Especially for alcoholics who primarily get their caloric intake from alcohol, Choline deficiency is common5.
Since Choline is imperative to so many functions of our bodies, making sure we are consuming and replenishing this multi-faceted nutrient is highly recommended. Either through supplementation, where Choline is coupled with Bitartrate for maximum absorption, or consuming enough foods which contain this vital nutrient, getting enough Choline throughout your day is essential.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- Benefits of Choline Bitartrate, https://www.xtend-life.com/blogs/supplement-ingredients/choline-bitartrate#:~:text=Choline%20bitartrate%20is%20choline%20combined,is%20an%20essential%20human%20nutrient.
- A Brief History Of Choline, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422379/.
- Choline, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/.
- What is Choline? An Essential Nutrient With Many Benefits, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-choline.
- The Nutrition Source: Choline, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/choline/#:~:text=Although%20foods%20rich%20in%20choline,%2C%20chicken%20breast%2C%20and%20legumes.
- Everything You Need To Know About Choline, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327117.