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What is choline?

Choline is found in eggs, liver, chicken, cruciferous vegetables and legumes like soy. A precursor to the neurotransmitter acetyl­choline, this nutrient is essential to brain health and memory. A study found that choline can help improve cognitive performance and help prevent memory loss. A deficiency of choline is a common cause for declining memory, which explains why supplementation with it has been shown to improve memory. The recommended dosage is 800-1,200 milligrams (mg) daily. 
Choline is an essential nutrient. It is needed for nervous system health, metabolism regulation, and gallbladder and liver health. The body produces some choline, and the rest needed is available in a healthy diet. This substance may be used to protect the liver, improve memory and treat high cholesterol. Although used by some bodybuilders, there is no evidence that it helps build muscle. Some food sources of choline include: milk, eggs, peanuts, beef liver, beef, salmon, cod, shrimp, broccoli, brussels sprouts, wheat germ, peanut butter and milk chocolate. There are a variety of supplements that contain choline available. The additional names that choline may go by include: tetra-methylglycine, phosphatidylcholine, CDP-choline, citicoline and polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC).
William D. Knopf, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Choline is a nutrient similar to the B vitamins that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Choline helps cells make cell membranes, make neurotransmitters (a chemical that helps nerve cells communicate with other cells), and remove fat from the liver. The body manufactures some necessary choline, and the rest needed is available from foods in a healthy diet. It is found in whole milk, beef liver, beef, eggs, soy foods, salmon, cod, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peanuts, and other foods. Choline is water-soluble (can dissolve in water). Lack of choline can cause diseases of the heart and blood vessels and damage to the kidneys and liver.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.