Nutritional Health, Herbal and Vitamin Supplements

Choline is a phospholipid (a compound that contains both fatty acids and water-soluble components). Choline is produced in the liver and it is found in the brain. Dietary sources of Choline include animal foods such as beef and eggs, as well as plant foods, particularly soybeans and wheat germ. Choline is a necessary part of human cell membranes, and it is also involved in the movement of cholesterol in the body - possibly helping to keep cholesterol deposits from forming in blood vessels. Additionally, it plays a role in the production of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter required for memory, other brain functions, and muscle control. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry signals from nerve cells to other cells.

Based on several studies, possible health benefits of Choline include the prevention and treatment dementia, a serious cognition impairment in the brain. Individuals who suffer from demential many times also have lower than normal levels of a neurotransmitter know as acetycholine, which affects both memory and muscles. It is believed that choline supplementation many improves symptoms associated with dementia by helping the body to increase and maintain levels of acetylcholine. However, no human studies have tested whether choline may actually prevent dementia.

Choline deficiencies may cause the development of liver damage.

Choline Dosage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has determined dietary reference intakes (DRIs) for choline. DRIs represent estimated average daily requirements for nutrients. DRIs for choline are:

  • Infants up to 6 months old: 125 mg for males, 125 mg for females
  • Infants from 7 to 12 months old: 150 mg for males, 150 mg for females
  • Children from one to 3 years old: 200 mg for males, 200 mg for females
  • Children from 4 to 8 years old: 250 mg for males, 250 mg for females
  • Children from 9 to 13 years old: 375 mg for males, 375 mg for females
  • Individuals from 14 to 18 years old: 550 mg for males, 400 mg for females
  • Individuals from 19 to 70 years old: 550 mg for males, 425 mg for females
  • Pregnant women: N/A 450 mg
  • Breast-feeding women: N/A 550 mg
For choline, the tolerable upper limit (TLU) for adults - including pregnant and breast-feeding women is 3,500 mg (3.5 grams) per day. For individuals between 9 and 13 years old, the maximum intake is 3,000 mg (3 grams) per day. The TUL for children between one and 8 years old is 1,000 mg (one gram) per day.

Always consult with a doctor before starting any supplementation regimen.