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Choline

 

Choline is an essential nutrient that is similar to the B group vitamins. Choline is a basic building block for a number of compounds including cell membranes, brain chemicals and nutrient transport proteins. It also plays a role in reducing the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain normal homocysteine levels in the body.

 

 

Sources
Choline is found in a wide range of foods. Good sources include:

  • Milk,
  • Liver,
  • Meat,
  • Eggs,
  • Wheat germ,
  • Dried soybeans,
  • Peanuts.

 

Your body can also make choline, however its ability to do so depends on whether you are also consuming enough folate, vitamin B12 and methionine (one of the building blocks of protein).

 

 

Requirements
The amount of choline that is likely to be adequate depends on your age and gender. You may need a higher intake of choline if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The Adequate Intake (AI) below reflects the amount estimated to be adequate for most people.

 

  AI (mg/day)                                                                                          
Infants  
0-6 months 125
7-12 months 150
Children  
1-3 years 200
4-8 years 250
9-13 years 375
Adolescents  
Boys (14-18 years) 550
Girls (14-18 years) 400
Adults  
Men (>19 years) 550
Women (>19 years) 425

 

 

Deficiency
While choline is an essential nutrient, there have been no cases of deficiency reported in the general population.

 

 

Safety
An upper level of intake has been set for choline, which is 3.5g for adult men and women. Different upper limits have been set for other age groups. The upper level of intake is the highest average daily intake likely to pose no adverse health effects to most people in the general population. Higher doses may lead to side effects such as abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea and nausea.

 

 

Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

National Health and Medical Research Council
http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/choline

 

NYU Langone Medical Centre
http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21658