This is the second part in my series called 50 Incredible Nutrition Supplements We All Need, giving real, unbiased information on some of the most important vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and herbal supplements available. Your health is your future, don’t leave it in the hands of anybody else. Let's talk about the benefits of choline
Choline is one of those vitamins where you probably recognize the name but have no idea what it actually is or does. It's very useful in weight maintenance, which means it has some potential use as a valuable weight loss supplement or diet pill.
It's a precursor to acetylcholine, one of the four primary neurotransmitters in the human brain. As such, it plays a large role in memory formation and learning, and researchers believe that choline supplementation can make it easier to learn and remember new things.
Since choline is important for proper liver function, symptoms of choline deficiency can manifest in the form of liver disease, although it takes a long time to become deficient enough that you show symptoms. It's a nonessential vitamin, which means that the body does make it, but most doctors agree that it's best to add extra choline into your body via food sources or choline supplements. You will typically have an impaired ability to digest fat.
One of the biggest signs of choline deficiency is impaired brain and memory function, leaving a foggy feeling when attempting to remember names or phone numbers.
550 mg a day is the daily recommended dose, but this is at the lower end of the scale and it's acceptable to consume much more on a daily basis. People who “mega dose” vitamins often take four or five times this amount with no side effects. The maximum safe dosage for choline has been set at 3.5 grams per day.
Beef and eggs are excellent sources of dietary choline, and beef liver is one of the largest, with 418 mg for every 100 grams. You can also find choline in tofu, cauliflower, peanut butter, and almonds in fairly high concentrations.
Choline is still being researched, and is actually one of the more recently discovered vitamins. It acts similarly to the B-complex vitamins, but isn't considered a B vitamin yet, although that may change.
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