Choline is a neurotransmitter precursor that is definitely going places. It is a precursor to acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter in both the brain and body. In the brain, acetylcholine is responsible for arousal, attention, memory and motivation. In the body, acetylcholine is responsible for stimulating skeletal muscles, which make us move and react to stimuli. Choline is also responsible for the transport of fats via formation and secretion of chylomicrons in the intestines. When someone eats a choline deficient diet, this fat transport is impaired, and fatty liver results. Choline is also a building block of sphingomyelin, which makes up both cell membranes and the myelin sheaths that surround nerve fibers.
According to the US Food and Nutrition Board, the adequate daily intake of choline is 550mg/ day for men and 425mg/day for women. Yet many people fail to consume this amount, due to the still-present myth that cholesterol and fat should be reduced.
Foods that are high in choline include liver, egg yolks, pork, chicken, fish, beef, nuts, wheat germ, soybeans and spinach. However, liver and egg yolks are the highest, with liver containing 473mg of choline in a 142g serving, and 147mg in one large egg. Another way to get choline is by taking lecithin granules at generally 2 tablespoons/day. Consuming these amounts will help to keep your memory, nervous system and liver healthy.
Tune in next episode when we’ll talk about MSG, also known as Monosodium Glutamate.
Be Well and Be Zen
Alex Audette TCMP, R.Ac.
Atkins, R., (1999), Dr. Atkins’ Vita Nutrient Solution, Nature’s answer to drugs., p.78-80. ISBN: 0-684-81849-3. Simon & Schuster Publishing, New York.
Gaby., Choline., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., Ch. 21., pp. 97-99, ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH.