Choline is one of the key nutrients which is essential for performing several bodily functions and optimal health. A minimal amount of choline is produced in the liver endogenously, however, you must get an adequate amount supplemented through diet. It is an organic water-soluble compound, which is neither a vitamin nor a mineral. Also Read: Choline Makes Babies Smarter
The body requires choline to synthesize phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, the two main phospholipids which are involved in metabolic processes and maintain the structure and integrity of cell membranes. Choline is also needed to make acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter for improving memory, mood, muscle movement, regulates heartbeat and brain and nervous system functions.
Choline plays a crucial role in several other bodily processes and is involved in the secretion of a compound that functions as cell messengers.
It is vital for producing lipoproteins which are needed for clearing cholesterol from the liver and fat transport.
This nutrient works together with vitamins B12 and folate, which supports DNA synthesis.
Choline deficiency is very rare, but deficiency of this vital nutrient can lead to liver and muscle damage, mostly seen in post-menopausal women, athletes and alcoholics. Low level of choline in pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tubal defects, preeclampsia, low birth weight and preterm deliveries.
Choline is bountiful in a wide range of natural food sources in the form of phosphatidylcholine, a type of fat that includes eggs, fatty fish, cauliflower, broccoli and soybean oil.
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