Written by Charlotte Campbell
Are You Getting Enough Choline?
Choline is a micronutrient that offers a whole host of benefits to the body. It was only recognised fairly recently as an essential micronutrient by the National Academy of Science (NAS) – reaching the list in 1998. Increasingly, however, it is receiving more of the attention it deserves. So, here’s all you need to know about Choline…
What Are The Benefits of Choline?
Choline encourages the body to keep our metabolism active. This is very important to those who are on a fitness plan. Knowing you have enough choline means your workout effects are at their most efficient. As you work hard to gain muscle mass, it’s good to know that your metabolism is rising higher accordingly. In addition, choline helps delay fatigue, which will help you blast through extra reps during your workout.
Your liver will certainly thank you for ensuring you have enough choline. Having enough in your system helps form phosphatidylcholine. This, in turn, helps to transport lipids (fat) from the liver. As we know, the less excess fat that is on the liver, the healthier the body can be. It helps avoid liver disease and cirrhosis. The micronutrient is also a valuable helper to our body’s neurotransmitters. This ensures we are efficient in muscle movement, and acts as an anti-ageing neurotransmitter.
Choline helps the brain in a number of ways. It is used to help ease symptoms of many conditions which focus on brain function. Tourettes, dementia, Huntington’s disease and seizures can all be affected by choline. The micronutrient is also used to help with mental health issues including depression and schizophrenia. If you think you’ll struggle to remember all these benefits, choline can help there, too! Choline helps to create acetylcholine, an invaluable brain chemical that helps us retain information.
Is Choline Natural?
Choline is a totally natural nutrient. It is produced by the body, but not in sufficient amounts to benefit thoroughly. Thus, it is necessary to include choline in your diet. Choline is found in foods such as eggs, salmon, cauliflower and beef.
It is important to get choline supplements, should you choose to take them, from a trusted source. Different types of choline do not absorb into the body as well as others. This, of course, makes them far less beneficial.
How Much Should I Be Consuming?
The NAS adequate level of daily consumption is as follows:
– 14-18 years, female: 400
– 14-19 years, male: 550 mg
– 19+ years, female: 425 mg
– 19+ years, male: 550 mg
– Pregnant women: 450 mg
– Lactating women: 550 mg
The maximum limit they advise is 3.5 grams. It would be very unlikely an adult would manage to consume those levels of choline in one day.
If you are looking to increase your choline intake to gain some of the benefits above, they are available in supplements. We also feature choline in several products, see below for more information.