Updated on October 31, 2018
Choline is an important nutrient, but, strictly speaking, it is not a vitamin, although it is often mistakenly perceived as a member of the B complex, with which it has many common functions. Choline should be found in abundance in a normal and healthy diet, but deficiencies are associated with cardiovascular and liver diseases, as well as altered cognitive function.
Until recently, it was believed that the body can produce a sufficient amount of choline from closely related nutrients, B12 vitamins and folic acid. It is currently believed that, although the body can actually synthesize choline in limited quantities, an adequate supply of the daily diet is also necessary to prevent a number of potentially serious diseases and diseases.
What you need to know
Most of the choline in the body is found in phospholipids, a particular type of fat molecule, of which the most common phosphatidylcholine, more commonly known as lecithin, is also an important dietary source of choline. It is known that choline is crucial for the proper functioning of brain neurotransmitters, and in the form of lecithin is an important element in the composition of cell membranes and effective biochemical communication between cells.
In addition, lecithin is vital to the liver’s ability to break down fat and cholesterol into very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), which are transported throughout the body to the bloodstream. Therefore, any choline or lecithin deficiency can cause the liver to become incapable of metabolizing fat and dietary cholesterol in this way and, as a result, the accumulation can lead to a condition known as “fatty liver” and , ultimately, to severe liver disease. . Some studies even suggest that changes in the liver caused by a inositol for anxiety deficiency can lead to an increased risk of liver cancer, although not all authorities find this study compelling.
VLDL is also required for the production of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called “good cholesterol”, which is generally recognized as an important advocate against cardiovascular diseases. There is also some evidence, although research has not yet been universally accepted that choline can help break down homocysteine, the body’s natural protein, which is strongly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, however, this is a relatively simple problem to solve, since lecithin supplies from soybeans are readily available in natural food stores. One teaspoon (3.5 g) of a granular supplement can provide approximately 130 mg of inositol energy and is acceptable when ingested in suitable beverages or in cereals. Peanuts and wheat flour are also useful vegetarian sources.