Choline health facts

Choline foods beef

Choline is an essential nutrient naturally found in certain foods and available as supplements. Our body also produces a small amount of choline in the liver but not enough for daily requirements. It is not a vitamin nor a mineral but is often categorized as a vitamin b complex due to the match of its properties. Choline helps with many chemical reactions in the body. It’s important in the nervous system and for the development of normal brain functioning. Most choline is metabolized in the liver where it is converted into phosphatidylcholine, which assists in building fat-carrying proteins and breaking down cholesterol.

Role in body

The function of choline in our body:-

  • CI hotline is work in the nervous system and helps to development of normal brain functioning. Hence, it is important for the nervous system.
  • It might help decrease swelling and inflammation related to asthma. Hence, choline works to decrease asthma.
  • Choline helps muscles to contract, activates pain responses, and plays a role in brain functions of memory and thinking.
  • Most choline is metabolized in the liver where it is converted into phosphatidylcholine, which helps in building fat-carrying proteins and breaking down cholesterol.
  • The body needs choline to synthesize phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes. Hence, choline supports the development of the cell membrane [1,2]


The health effects of deficiency of choline:-

  • Choline deficiency in our body may cause muscle damage and the body makes it harder for pain recovery [1].
  • The deficiency may cause liver damage. Hence, the proper amount of choline is healthy for the liver. [2,3]
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD or hepatosteatosis) may be caused by a deficiency of choline [4].


The richest source of choline are meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs.

The sources of choline:-

  • Animal sources
    • Beef
    • Beef liver
    • Fish
    • Chicken breast
    • Milk yogurt
  • Plant sources
    • Potatoes
    • Beans
    • Peanut
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Cabbage
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Shiitake mushrooms


There is not enough accurate data to verify the rda value (Recommended dietary allowance) of choline. The Food and Nutrition Board established an Adequate Intake (AI) for choline based on the prevention of liver damage.

Adequate Intake (AI) of choline for men and women:-

  • AI of choline for men and women with 19+ years is 550 mg and 425 mg daily, respectively.
  • 450 mg for pregnancy and 550 mg daily for lactation


An excessive dosage of choline may cause low blood pressure (hypotension) and liver toxicity. It may also lead to the excess production of TMAO, which is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Excessive sweating, fishy body odor, or nausea/vomiting may be symptoms of toxicity of choline.


1. Zeisel SH, Corbin KD. Choline. In: Erdman JW, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th ed. Washington, DC: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012:405-18.

2. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998

3. Healthcare; 2010:136-43.
Zeisel SH. Choline. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern Nutrition in
and Disease. 11th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014:416-26.

4. Corbin KD, Zeisel SH. Choline metabolism provides novel insights into nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its progression. Curr Opin Gastroenterol 2012;28:159-65. [PubMed abstract]

5. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Vitamin B2 Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Accessed 2/9/20.

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