Choline helps to control weight and cholesterol levels, to prevent gaIIstones and to keep cell membranes healthy. It is essential for the nervous system, aids memory and learning, and may help to fight viral infections, including the hepatitis viruses and AIDS.
Availability in food
Choline is widely available in foods, including soy products and leafy vegetables. It can be lost in cooking, long-term storage and food processing.
What if your intake is too low?
Dietary insufficiency is very rare, but it can cause diseases of the liver and kidney, raised cholesterol and high blood pressure.
When extra may be needed?
- If you regularly consume moderate or high amounts of alcohol
- If you eat large amounts of refined sugar
- If you are taking large amounts of nicotinic acid
to control cholesterol levels
(Pregnant and breast feeding women should consult a doctor, midwife, or qualified nutritional therapist before taking any vitamin or mineral supplements.)
Can too much be toxic?
Excessive supplements may cause nausea, depression and aggravate pre-existing epilepsy. Too mueh choline can lead to the body exuding a fishy odour, when supplementation should be stopped.
Using a supplement
If you wish to take a supplement, choline is best taken as part of a balanced B-vitamin tablet or capsule, unless your doctor or nutritional health practitioner advises otherwise.