What is Choline? Benefits, Sources, and Deficiency Signs

What is Choline?

Choline is particularly known as a macro-nutrient which plays its essential role in liver function, nerve functioning, normal brain development, muscle movement, maintaining a healthy metabolism and supporting energy level. In simple language, Choline is a B-complex vitamin. It is formed inside the liver with the intake of food such as muscle meats, nuts, fish, beans, spinach, peas, egg and wheat germ. In simple words we can say that it works like vitamin B. Choline acts as supporting energy which helps in brain functioning.

How does Choline work?

Choline is used in the chemical process which takes place inside the body. Choline plays an important role in the nervous system. While in the case of asthma, Choline decreases the occurrence of swelling and inflammation. Moreover, it is helpful for people suffering from depression, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and dementia, Huntington’s chorea, and other brain disorders which are also known as cerebellar ataxia. It helps in recovering from different type of seizures and mental conditions such as schizophrenia.

Athletes use it for bodybuilding, for delaying fatigue or in endurance sports. It is also recommended for pregnant women for the prevention of neural tube defects in babies. Thus, it is used as a supplement in infant formulas. Choline can act as a preventive measure for cancer or lowering cholesterol level.


Signs of Choline Deficiency:

The Choline deficiency can be categorized on different levels, the warning signs such as lack of focus, poor functioning of the brain, and weak grasping power for studies are not to be ignored. These types of symptoms are observed whenever the level of acetylcholine reduces in your body. This can be because of an insufficient diet.

If the body is suffering from Choline deficiency through the meals, then the brain automatically starts utilizing Choline from the cell walls. This can be harmful to the body and give rise to disorders such as Alzheimer’s as well as other mental problems.

In some of the serious cases, such as kidney necrosis, fatty liver results in internal bleeding.  These signs of a Choline deficiency can affect the overall part of a body.

Some other signs which indicate the Chlorine deficiency are:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle and nerve problems
  • Mood swings or mood disorders
  • Accumulation of lipids in the blood
  • Cognitive decline
  • Learning disabilities

Hence, it is noticed that Choline deficiency is mostly due to unhealthy dietary intake as the essential amount of nutrients are not absorbed by the body. So it is quite important to follow the healthy diet along with adequate amount of Choline in a meal.

Choline Rich Food-

You can easily follow a healthy diet schedule if you want to overcome Choline deficiency. Foods such as egg yolk, lecithin and soybean products are great sources of choline. Some other products which you can add in your day to day life are banana, flax seed, butter, milk, organ meats like calf liver and heart, cauliflower, oranges, peanut butter, tomatoes, potatoes and whole grain cereals such as corn, oats, or wheat.

The adequate amount of Choline-

  • Babies require: 125- 150 mg
  • Children from 1-8: 150- 250 mg
  • Teenagers 8-13: 250- 375 mg
  • Female above age 14: 425- 550 mg
  • Male above age 14: 550 mg
  • At the time of pregnancy: 450-550 mg
  • Women while breastfeeding: 550 mg

Benefits of Choline:

No doubt every nutrient plays a specific role in the functioning of the body; thus they are popularly known as a building block. Therefore, it is essential to take a healthy diet, i.e., full of nutrients.

  1. Forms DNA and Cell Structures:

Choline is quite helpful for a body to absorb an adequate amount of fat, and structuring the cell membranes. Whenever an individual suffers from Choline deficiency in the body, the cells stop working properly or send wrong signal messages for functioning to other parts of the body.

In case of gene expression or DNA: Choline helps to create DNA or can structure an entire part of a body. Folate and Choline, both of them, combine and perform the methyl group process which helps in genetic formation.

  1. Supports Central Nervous System:

Choline is quite helpful in performing multiple activities such as nerve functioning, maintaining the membranes of brain cells and sending signals to the overall parts of your body. Thus if you take the proper amount of Choline in your diet, then it is helpful in building the tissue within the nervous system that is further responsible for brain development as well as growth.

Thus it improves the:

  • Signaling capacity of nerves
  • Support in structural integrity
  • Protect vital neuronal membranes
  1. Maintains Healthy Liver Function:

It is used in transporting the fat from the liver to other areas of the cell all over the body. Chlorine builds-up your liver by cleansing it so that can stay away from harmful diseases. It also transports the two important forms of fats-cholesterol as well as triglycerides from the liver to essential parts of the body. The individuals suffering from the problems of a liver should consume sufficient amount of Choline in their diet.

  1. Helps Protect Memory and Loss of Brain Function:

No one can deny the fact that your brain becomes less elastic with the increase in age. Thus Choline acts to create a level of acetylcholine that helps coping up the old age effect. It helps in preserving memory or dementia disorders, and some other issues like memory loss and cognitive decline disorders.

  1. Can Help with Exercise Performance and Muscle Function:

Choline is quite helpful to increase the metabolism, energy level and prevent from fatigue issues such as muscle ache. Mainly athletics prefer it for increasing physical activities.

  1. Supports a Healthy Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, Cholrine helps women stay away from the higher risks such as neural tube defects or developmental problems.


Choline is used to perform quintessential functions, such as cellular structuring, transporting the nutrients and maintaining metabolism. Moreover, Choline is synthesized within the liver, so even an adequate amount of Choline is sufficient to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It performs multiple functions throughout the body such as building up nervous, endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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