Choline Info – By SunCoastHealthCare.com
Choline is similar to the B vitamins. It can be made in the liver. It is also found in foods such as liver, muscle meats, fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach, wheat germ, and eggs. Choline is used for liver disease, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is also used for depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s chorea, Tourette’s disease, a brain disorder called cerebellar ataxia, certain types of seizures, and a mental condition called schizophrenia.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient. It is a basic constituent of lecithin, which is present in many plants and animal organs. Choline is a macronutrient that’s important for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, supporting energy levels and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Choline seems to be an important in the nervous system. In asthma, choline might help decrease swelling and inflammation.
Choline is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth or given intravenously in appropriate amounts.
Taking high doses of choline by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for adults. Doses over the Daily Upper Intake Levels (see dosage section below) are more likely to cause side effects such as sweating, a fishy body odor, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and vomiting.
There is some concern that increasing dietary choline intake might increase the risk of cancer of the colon and rectum. One study found that women eating a diet that contains a lot of choline have an increased the risk of colon cancer. However, more research is still needed to determine the effects of diet on colon cancer.
Children: Choline is LIKELY SAFE for most children when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts. Taking high doses of choline by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for children due to the increased risk of side effects.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Choline is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth and used appropriately. Doses up to 3 grams daily for pregnant and breast-feeding women up to 18 years of age, and 3.5 grams daily for women 19 years and older are not likely to cause unwanted side effects. There isn’t enough information available about the safety of choline used in higher doses in pregnant or lactating women. It’s best to stick to recommended doses.
An average diet supplies 200-600 mg of choline daily. Adequate Intake (AI), as established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine, for adults is 550 mg per day for men and breast feeding women; women, 425 mg per day; pregnant women, 450 mg per day. For children 1-3 years the AI is 200 mg per day; 4-8 years, 250 mg per day; 9-13 years, 375 mg per day; for infants less than 6 months, 125 mg per day; infants 7-12 months, 150 mg per day.
Daily Upper Intake Levels (UL, the highest level of intake that is not likely to cause harm) for choline are: 1 gram daily for children 1-8 years, 2 grams for children 9-13 years, 3 grams for children 14-18 years, and 3.5 grams for adults over 18 years of age.