Chart: The World’s Healthiest Foods
Choline is a water-soluble micronutrient closely related to the vitamin B complex. In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) added choline to its list of required nutrients. Along with folate and vitamins B6 and B12, choline participates in the methylation process that is used to create DNA and detoxify the liver. Methylation problems have been linked to memory loss and cardiovascular disease.
Choline is the backbone of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. The importance of acetylcholine cannot be overstated. For instance, any muscle you move requires a signal from acetylcholine to tell it to contract.
What Are Neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They relay signals between nerve cells, called neurons. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest.
Using Choline To Treat Certain Illnesses
Choline has been medically prescribed to treat liver disease, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is also used to lower cholesterol and for treating depression, memory loss, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s chorea, Tourette’s disease, a brain disorder called cerebellar ataxia, certain types of seizures, and schizophrenia.
What Foods Are Rich In Choline?
The liver is able to make a small amount of choline. In the distant past, it was once believed that our bodies made sufficient quantities of choline internally. By analyzing diets deficient in choline, modern-day researchers have found that in order for our bodies to function properly, we need to ingest additional amounts from various food sources.
While eggs have been cited as the richest food source of choline (146.0 mg/egg), this nutrient can also be obtained by eating seafood, muscle meats (chicken, turkey, and beef), beans, nuts, peas, spinach, brassica vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms, and wheat germ.
How Much Choline Do We Need?
In 1998, NAS defined the amount of choline that each age group should obtain on a daily basis:
• Infants and babies: 125-150 mg
• Children ages 1-8: 150-250 mg
• Teens ages 8-13: 250-375 mg
• Women above age 14: 425-550 mg
• Men above age 14: 550 mg
• Pregnant women: 450-550 mg
• Women who are breastfeeding: 550 mg
NAS also established 3.5 grams of choline a day as a tolerable upper limit. Ingesting choline at a rate of several grams a day can result in a drop in blood pressure and fishy body odor. Such a large intake of choline can only come from swallowing choline supplements and not from food intake alone.
Choline needs inositol to work.
What Is Inositol?
Inositol is a sweet-tasting carbohydrate that is sometimes mistaken for a B vitamin. Found primarily in fruits like oranges and cantaloupe, inositol prevents fats from collecting in the body, particularly in the liver. Inositol also interacts with neurotransmitters like serotonin to ensure a restful night’s sleep.
The World’s Healthiest Foods
Choline: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings
What Is Choline? Benefits, Sources & Signs of Choline Deficiency
What Is Inositol? | Benefits & Side Effects
By Apoorv Kumar Upadhyay | MyProtein.com
Nov 21, 2015