choline deficiency

Choline is an essential nutrient. The body can only produce small amounts and it needs supplementation to get adequate amounts It has many functions.  It is involved in cholesterol transport and removing fats from the liver for transport. Deficiency can result in fatty liver. It is necessary to produce acetylcholine which is the neurotransmitter that controls nerve transmission. It is also necessary to produce sphingomyelin which protects nerve and brain cells. Deficiency can contribute to many neurologic conditions including dementia.

It is available in acceptable quantities in eggs, chicken and liver.  Sunflower seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, soybeans and almonds also contain some.  The “recommended amount” is around 500 mg daily, which is achievable with 3 eggs or 5 ounces of liver, but most other sources would require very large quantities to get that amount. (3 pounds of cauliflower) It is likely that higher amounts, up to 3000 mg daily, would have favorable effects on liver and neurologic function.

Supplementation is available, with straight choline 500 mg tabs – 1-2 daily, or phosphatidyl choline 1 -2 grams daily. It should be considered in those lacking dietary sources, (especially vegans) and in those with impaired liver or  neurologic function.