Choline: The forgotten nutrient

Choline: The forgotten nutrient that should be on your radar

There are vitamins for your immune system and minerals for your bone health, but what about Choline? Keep reading to find out.  

Vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, protein…ok, but what about Choline? According to a cross-sectional study from George Mason University, only 11 percent of Americans get the choline they need on a daily basis, and a further 65 percent don’t even know what it is.

Choline is an essential nutrient that is just as important as all the rest. Here’s some information you can’t miss about Choline and how it works.

What is choline?

There is a reason why Choline is unknown to most people: because it wasn’t recognized as an essential nutrient by the National Academy of Medicine until 1998 and is still not included in official recommendations in the UK. 

Choline works similarly to omega-3 fatty acids, s the amount produced endogenously in the liver is not sufficient to meet our requirements. Once absorbed, the nutrient is critical for a number of bodily functions, including helping to metabolize fats, looking after cells, among others.

What are the benefits of choline?

An observational study published by Cambridge University Press found that of the 2,195 participants aged 70–74 years, those with higher choline levels had better cognitive functioning than participants with low choline levels.

Another study in 2014 found out that athletes who took choline supplements had lower body mass indexes and another study in 2018 found an association between higher dietary intakes of choline and a lower risk of ischemic stroke.

How about taking a choline supplement?

The alternative to gulping down six cups of tofu a day is to boost your intake through a supplement. A US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that egg consumers had almost twice the usual choline intake compared with non-consumers, and so a supplement may help vegans. 

Egg consumers had almost twice the usual choline intake compared with non-consumers, and so a supplement may help vegans. 

The daily upper limit for adults is 3,500 mg per day. Of course, as with every supplement, you need to consult your dietician or nutritionist first, especially if you have an underlying illness or are taking other medication.

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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