Choline benefits for better health and other things you need to now. What do you need to know about “vitamin” B4 or choline? Choline is a recently discovered micronutrient that is also produced by the body (liver).
But in quite small quantities, insufficient for his needs. So it is necessary to include choline in our diet. Today we will talk more about its beneficial effects and functions in the body.
You will find out how much is the recommended daily dose of choline, what are its best sources in food, what are the dangers of deficiency, how to find out your choline level, and the like.
What is choline?
Choline is a water-soluble micronutrient (it can also be fat-soluble) that is similar to folic acid and other B vitamins.
It can also be found under the name vitamin B4, but it is still not considered a vitamin – we have already mentioned that it is excreted in smaller quantities in the body.
Similar to B vitamins, choline plays an important role in the normal development of brain tissue and nerve function.
It is important for muscle movements, maintenance of optimal metabolic function, and normal liver function.
It is an important structural component for the synthesis of several fatty components, with different roles in the body.
What is perhaps the most important function of choline?
Choline is key to the so-called methylation process, which is necessary for the synthesis of DNA molecules, nerve signals, and various detoxification processes.
Choline helps in the proper absorption of fats, components that further participation in the creation of cell membranes and structures.
According to this, it is evident that choline is a particularly important component for the formation of the basic structural and functional unit of the organism – the cell.
Health benefits of choline
Protection of heart health with choline benefits
The authors of a 2018 study found a link between increased choline intake and a reduced risk of stroke. Choline, along with folic acid (vitamin B9), helps in the proper conversion of homocysteine.
It is an amino acid whose high levels in the blood significantly increase the risk of various heart diseases. In addition, some studies have shown that choline may be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
This reduction in cholesterol is also an important risk factor for cardiovascular health. However, more research is needed on this topic.
Promotes a healthy pregnancy and healthy development of newborns
Pregnant women have the greatest need for choline because the fetus uses it intensively to develop the brain, cells, and nerve channels.
In addition, choline is very important during pregnancy due to its mutual regulation of regulation with other very important vitamins during pregnancy, such as vitamin B9 and other B vitamins for example.
Research has linked optimal maternal choline intake during pregnancy to the proper development of the brain during a child’s growing period.
Choline is also found in breast milk during breastfeeding, which once again confirms its great importance for the development of the baby.
In the early stages of life, babies have significantly higher needs for a variety of nutrients, including choline. This is because in this period the brain structure, ie the neural networks are in intensive formation.
Better muscle function and athletic performance
Choline is important for the function of acetylcholine, a very important neurotransmitter that, among other things, helps communicate between nerves and muscle movement.
Each movement of the muscles requires a certain amount of choline to activate acetylcholine, which sends chemical signals to the muscles and makes them mobile.
This nutrient is also important for improving what is meant by mental energy, focus, and concentration – key prerequisites for good physical performance, especially important for those who do sports.
It is believed that the effect that choline has on metabolism and neurotransmitters in the brain, can trigger a faster reaction, ie reducing the time required for mental processing that precedes the reaction.
Better memory and dementia prevention
As we age, our brains become less and less “elastic”. Choline plays an important role in maintaining the “elasticity” of brain tissue by maintaining optimal levels of the aforementioned neurotransmitter acetylcholine, whose levels fall naturally over the years.
Choline can act to improve the so-called signal capacity of nerves, supporting their structure and vital membranes.
Some studies suggest that low levels of this neurotransmitter are a risk factor for developing the most common forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Atypically low levels of acetylcholine have been reported in patients with this disease.
Better liver health with choline benefits
Choline is a necessary component for the proper transport of fats, but also of cholesterol molecules from the liver to cells throughout the body.
It also participates in maintaining optimal levels of fat in the liver, which prevents its fat.
Low levels of choline in the body, research has been linked to an increased risk of liver disease and even its “cancellation”.
Recommended daily choline needs
Choline needs vary depending on several factors: pregnancy or lactation, gender, age, and genetic factors.
In addition, a sufficient amount of vitamin B4 is found in foods of plant origin, such as cabbage, soy, nuts, etc. More detailed data on choline content are shown in the table.
The daily need for vitamin B4 (choline) for children
- Newborns 0-6 months: 125 mg (proper nutrition *)
- Infants 7 months – 1 year: 150 mg (appropriate diet)
- Children from 1 – 3 years: 200 mg
- Kids from 4 to 8 years: 250 mg
- Children 9 – 13 years: 375 mg
- Girls 14 to 18 years: 400 mg
- Boys 14 to 18 years: 550 mg
* Proper nutrition – a balanced diet that meets the needs of the body.
Daily choline requirement for adults
- Men 19 years and older: 550 mg
- Women 19 years and older: 425 mg
- Pregnant women: 450 mg
- Breastfeeding women: 550 mg
Amounts up to 3.5g in adults and up to 2g in children are considered safe.
Choline deficiency and its symptoms
Choline deficiency is not uncommon in the population, and in the long run, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, non-alcoholic fatty liver, muscle damage, etc.
People at risk for choline deficiency are athletes, alcoholics, postmenopausal women, and pregnant women.
The symptoms of a deficiency that you need to recognize are:
- low energy levels and chronic fatigue
- often forgetting
- pain in the muscles
- frequent mood swings
- learning problems
Choline is tested by laboratory analysis of a blood sample. Consult your doctor more on this topic if you think there is a need.
Good sources of choline benefits in food
A healthy and balanced diet can provide us with sufficient amounts of this nutrient. Healthy foods rich in choline:
4) Cauliflower and broccoli
5) Quinoa seeds
7) Whole grain flours and their products
8) Different nuts and seeds
There is also appropriate choline supplementation, but be sure to consult your doctor about the need for it.
Choline is found in animal and plant products. Below are tables for the amount of choline per 100 g of product.
Products of animal origin with choline
- Egg yolk (raw egg) – 682.3 mg
- Caviar – 490.9 mg
- Beef liver (goulash) – 426 mg
- Milk liver (fried) – 418.2 mg
- Chicken liver (cooked) – 290 mg
- Raw eggs – 251.1 mg
- Eggs (boiled) – 225.3 mg
- Dry whey – 225 mg
- Turkish liver (symmetrical) – 220.2 mg
- Chicken (cooked over low heat) – 178.1 mg
- Bacon (fried) – 130.8 mg
- Pork cashews (fried) – 110.6 mg
- Salmon (smoked fish) – 95 mg
- Pork (fried) – 88.9 mg
- Sardines in oil – 85 mg
- Fever (grill) – 83.7 mg
- Sturgeon (grilled) – 81 mg
- Herring (grill) – 81 mg
- Shrimp (boiled) – 80.9
- Meat (fried) – 69.8 mg
- Chicken breast (roasted) – 39.4 mg
- Tuna in oil (canned) – 29.3 mg
- Milk (skim – 2%) – 16.4 mg
- Edam Cheese – 15.4 mg
- Parmesan – 15.4 mg
- Milk (whole – 3.25%) – 14.3 mg
Products of plant origin with choline
- Baked tofu (soybeans) – 106.3 mg
- Tomatoes (sun-dried) – 104.6 mg
- Flaxseed – 78.7 mg
- Wheat bran – 74.4 mg
- Roasted pistachios (with salt) – 71.4 mg
- Spirulina dry – 66 mg
- Pumpkin seeds – 63 mg
- Cashew nuts (fried) – 61 mg
- Sunflower seeds (dried) – 55.1 mg
- Peanuts – 52.5 mg
- Almonds (fried) – 52.1 mg
- Almonds (raw) – 52.1 mg
- Hazelnuts – 45.6 mg
- Cauliflower (fresh) – 45.2 mg
- Broccoli (boiled) – 40.6 mg
- Pecans – 40.5 mg
- Broccoli (boiled) – 40.1 mg
- Walnuts – 39.2 mg
- Cauliflower (cooked) – 39.1 mg
- Shiitake mushrooms (boiled) – 36.8 mg
- Dandelion grass (raw) – 35.3 mg
- White beans (cooked) – 35.1 mg
- Oat bran – 32.2 mg
- Rice bran – 32.2 mg
- Peas (cooked) – 29.7 mg
- Walnut from Brazil – 28.8 mg
- Ingerum (raw) – 28.8 mg
- Whole wheat bread – 26.5 mg
- Sesame seeds – 25.6 mg
- Dandelion grass (boiled) – 25 mg
- Garlic – 23.2 mg
Symptoms of vitamin B4 (choline) overdose
Symptoms of vitamin B4 (choline) overdose:
May cause loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, excessive sweating, high blood pressure, the appearance of a certain body odor (fish odor).
Vitamin B4 or choline is extremely important for our health. Its composition contributes to a healthier heart, muscles, better sports performance, and the like.
Choline benefits help improve liver function, helps against dementia, and better functioning of brain memory.
It is mostly found in salmon, soy, beans, cauliflower, rice, potatoes, mushrooms, and other foods. Choline or vitamin B4 is needed for our body and therefore care should be taken regularly in our body.