Nutrient Spotlight: Choline
5 min read

What is Choline and Why do I Need it?

Choline is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health of the human body. It is involved in several important functions, including brain development, nerve function, metabolism, and liver health. Choline is particularly vital during pregnancy, as it supports fetal brain development. Research suggests that choline also has cognitive benefits in adults, improving memory and cognitive performance. Additionally, it aids in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in muscle control and memory.

To ensure an adequate intake of choline, it is important to incorporate choline-rich foods into your diet. Good dietary sources of choline include eggs, chicken, fish, meat, dairy products, soybeans, wheat germ, and certain vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. One large egg, for instance, provides around 147 mg of choline, which covers approximately 27% of the daily recommended intake for adult men and 36% for adult women.

The daily choline requirements vary based on age, sex, and life stage. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides the following daily adequate intake (AI) values for choline: 550 mg for adult men; 425 mg for adult women; 450 mg during pregnancy; and 550 mg during lactation. These values may vary for individuals with certain genetic variations, health conditions or special dietary needs. By incorporating choline-rich foods into your diet, you can ensure an adequate intake and support your overall health and well-being.

  1. Zeisel SH, da Costa KA. Choline: an essential nutrient for public health. Nutr Rev. 2009;67(11):615-623. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00246.x
  2. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. National Academies Press; 1998. doi:10.17226/6015
  3. National Institutes of Health. Choline - Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements. Accessed June 5, 2023.

Take control of your health.