Choline is a nutrient that is essential for humans. Once digested from food, choline performs two very important functions in the body. Choline assists in forming the outer membrane of every cell in the body and is involved in communication between cells.
Choline is a nutrient that is grouped in the vitamin B family. Choline is a precursor for betaine, a chemical that is closely tied to proper functioning of choline in the body. For this reason, betaine is also sometimes included in listings of choline in foods.
Choline was first identified in 1862. Though medical science has directed increasing attention towards choline in recent years, this supplement is not yet featured on nutritional labels.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all infant formula contains choline.
Choline is most abundant in a variety of foods, including egg yolks, beef, chicken, veal, and turkey liver. However, many other foods such as broccoli and hazelnuts contain smaller amounts of choline.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating the establishment of a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of choline; the RDA standards have not been revised since 1989. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences recommends that the USDA include choline in its next revision of the RDA standards. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adults consume between 425 and 550 milligrams of choline daily.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.