Choline is a nutrient only discovered recently. In 1998, it was acknowledged as a “required nutrient” by the Institute of Medicine.
Even though your body has the ability to produce choline through the liver, you also need a daily intake to avoid a deficiency.
Many food products can be considered natural choline supplements, and while some of them may not be enough, you might want to turn to medical ones considered as the best citicoline supplement.
Which one is the best choline supplement? And how can you choose the best choline supplement? Read until the end to know all about it.
- 1 1. What Is Choline?
- 2 2. Benefits Of Choline Supplements
- 3 3. Which Choline Source Is Best?
- 4 4. Why Do We Need Choline?
- 5 5. Should I Take A Choline Supplement?
- 6 6. How Do You Choose The Best Choline Supplement?
- 7 7. The Best Choline Supplements
- 8 8. Conclusion
1. What Is Choline?
Choline is a nutrient produced by the body (in the liver) but also provided by certain foods. It is very similar to B vitamins and plays a big role in the body’s cellular growth and metabolism. It is known to be a crucial nutrient as it supports multiple mind functions such as mental function and memory, and also prevents multiple disorders and numerous conditions, including birth defects.
This nutrient is commonly known among people with fatty liver diseases (FLD), also called hepatic steatosis, where they experience a buildup of fat in their liver. The symptoms are usually mild and come as tiredness or pain in the abdomen (on the upper right side). And, studies have shown that consuming it (especially plain choline, and choline bitartrate) will support your liver function and eventually reverse the damage, along with boosting cognitive abilities and brain function.
2. Benefits Of Choline Supplements
The benefits of choline supplements are countless, including:
- DNA synthesis: Choline has a big contribution to lipid metabolism and DNA methylation. Studies have even shown that deficiency in choline can be associated with DNA damage in cells, but this has not yet been formally proven in humans.
- Cell structure: Choline helps the human body produce fats which are an important element in the protective layer of cellular membranes (along with proteins and cholesterol)
- Nervous system functioning: Choline has a big role in neurotransmitter synthesis since the body converts it into neurotransmitters, ultimately affecting the nerves and regulating basic functions such as the heart rate and breathing.
- Metabolism: Deficiency in choline is proven to affect many conditions and diseases such as liver and neurological diseases. This is mainly because of its crucial role in human metabolism (especially in cell structure and maintenance and the functioning of the nervous system)
3. Which Choline Source Is Best?
The daily choline needs of adult women range from 400 mg to 425 mg, while adult men need a daily intake of 550 mg. Which choline source is best? Let’s find out.
(The following nutritional data is from https://nutritiondata.self.com)
Fish are already known to be a rich source of many nutrients and vitamins. It can also be an amazing choline supplement.
- Caviar contains 491 mg per 100 grams.
- Fish roes (fish eggs) contain 335 mg per 100 grams.
- Cod contains 291 mg per 100 grams.
Other fish varieties are also rich in choline such as Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Anchovies, etc.
Cooked and simmered beef is a rich source of choline, as a 100-gram serving can contain up to 513 mg of choline. It is also a source of Protein, Iron and Zinc, and other nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Selenium. But you need to be careful as it might also contain high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats which might impact your diet and eventually your health.
Along with being rich in numerous nutrients and vitamins such as Protein, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and many more, the liver is also one of the richest sources of choline.
- Beef liver contains 426 mg per 100 grams.
- Chicken liver contains 327 mg per 100 grams.
- Veal liver contains 310 mg per 100 grams.
- Braunschweiger (pork liver sausage) contains 256 mg per 100 grams.
- Turkey liver contains 222 mg per 100 grams.
d. Egg Yolks
Eggs are probably one of the richest supplements of choline. Even though the egg whites do not contain any choline, its yellow yolk (100 grams) contains 1388 mg. 100 grams equals around 2 large eggs, which covers around half of your daily choline intake. But you need to be careful consuming eggs as 22% of them are cholesterol, which can have serious impacts on your health. This is why you need to keep a balanced diet to avoid certain conditions and heart diseases caused by high cholesterol levels.
Choline can be found in a large variety of dairy products considered as a rich choline supplement.
You can also consider taking a milkshake (1 cup/ 16 tablespoons/ 224 ml) and providing your body with 239 mg, which will also provide you with calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B12, without having to worry about cholesterol. But stay aware of the sugars, as we all know that most of its calories come from sugars.
Mushrooms can be considered among the best choline supplements as 100 grams of mushrooms can contain up to 202 grams, which makes it an excellent choice for lactose-intolerant people who cannot get their daily choline intake from dairy products.
If you are following a plant-based diet, then soy is an ideal choline supplement for you. You can either consume it raw, opt for soy oil or soy milk, or even consume it in the form of food additives (Soy Lecithin).
- Soy lecithin contains 350 mg per 100 grams.
- Soy flour contains 192 mg per 100 grams.
4. Why Do We Need Choline?
Choline is important for our body to function the right way. Even though not many people test for choline deficiency, it can have several negative impacts on our health. The bright side is that, even though you don’t supplement your body with enough choline through food, it still produces it in the liver.
Choline ensures good nervous system functioning and limits neurological damages. Some tests on animals also proved that it has a big role in enhancing cognitive development.
That said, if you suspect that your level of choline may be low, we advise you to check with your doctor, as it can end up in the fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) or liver damage. This is because the liver is among the first places where choline goes after being consumed. The liver’s role is to store choline and ensure its metabolism.
However, choline should be completed with other B vitamins as they both work side by side for DNA synthesis as well as growing and repairing body cells.
5. Should I Take A Choline Supplement?
While eggs might be a natural choline supplement, it does not make them the “best” one, because as we said before, their cholesterol percentage is high and it can harm your heart and overall health.
Also, some people might be allergic to eggs, or follow a vegan diet and refuse to consume them.
For these reasons and more, taking a choline supplement can be the best alternative to avoid deficiency of choline.
6. How Do You Choose The Best Choline Supplement?
There are several features to choose the best choline supplement:
- Form: People have different preferences when it comes to the form of choline supplements.These come in four forms including pills, capsules, powder, and gummies. Pills can be either capsules or tablets.
- Dosage: Choline supplements dosage can vary between 100 mg to 650 mg. Your choice should depend on the severity of your choline deficiency and correspond to your diet and natural choline intake.
- Inositol: Some choline supplements contain inositol, also known as biotin or B8, which is a type of sugar that helps relax the body and balance brain development and function. It is also important for women with PCOS.
- Nootropic: Other choline supplements also contain “nootropic”, also known as the cognitive enhancer, which boosts cognitive function, and promotes motivation and memory. Choline supplements with nootropic are considered “stacked”.
7. The Best Choline Supplements
a. Alpha GPC Choline
Alpha GPC Choline (Alpha Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline) is a supplement used to boost a brain chemical known as acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is considered important for cognitive functions such as mind learning skills and memory, which is why Alpha GPC Choline is used for several brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
b. CDP Choline
CDP Choline (Cytidine diphosphate choline) also known as the best Citicoline supplement, is also one of the supplements which can be injected or taken by mouth. It is considered as the best citicoline supplement thanks to its many benefits including helping with Glaucoma (vision improvement), and helping with memory. It can also be used by people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Bipolarity, and other brain disorders.
Even though a deficiency in choline is pretty rare, many people do not provide their bodies with the needed daily intake, which makes them turn to a choline supplement.
We hope the information provided in this article was useful and that you have a good idea of the choline-rich foods and other choline supplements you can try. Feel free to ask us for more information!