Choline Deficiency – How To Know If You Are Suffering From It?
Interesting Facts About Choline
- Choline is similar to Vitamins.
- Eggs are considered as the highest source of choline.
- When choline level increases in your blood, it also increases the chances of having prostate cancer.
- The human body produces choline in a very limited quantity.
- Choline is necessary for the function of the cell membrane, as well as, it handles the communication between the muscles and nerves.
- The deficiency of choline makes the gathering of urine from the kidney difficult.
- Some of the processed foods contain choline in it when lecithin is added to it.
Choline – A Small Summary
Choline is a kind of Vitamin B-complex and folate, that is produced by the human body in a very limited quantity. It is a water-soluble nutrient that has its own importance in the functioning of the body organs. Choline is found in several ingredients we add to our meals in routine basis. However, still nearly 90 percent people don’t have the required amount of choline in their diet.
Choline is mainly important in the process of methylation that forms DNA. This process also helps in passing signals through the nerves and in the process of detoxification. Choline is also vital for the smooth functioning of acetylcholine, that holds a prime role in the communication of the nerves, as well as, for the movement of the muscles. The micronutrient is also necessary for the functioning of the brain.
Health Benefits Of Choline
The prime role of choline is transporting fats and its metabolism. Hence, it becomes equally important for various body organs like the liver, brain, nervous system, etc. Choline is very important for the brain also, as it is necessary for the cognitive function too. It is also an important element for the growth of acetylcholine, which is a molecule essential for the functions of the brain and the nerve.
Choline is also used for the production of phosphatidylcholine that is a key element for the fatty membrane in the human cells, which also includes the cells of the brain. This process also allows the cells to intake and remove the nutrients and wastage from it.
Choline also helps in reducing the chronic inflammation and the homocysteine levels in the blood. Both the inflammation and the homocysteine levels that result in disorders like cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, etc. Choline is also important for proper functioning of the brain by improving memory and learning abilities. Choline plays a vital role in the process of regulation of the gallbladder, that also prevents from the development of gallstones.
Choline regulates the functioning of the liver, and removes the unwanted toxins, that is also helpful in preventing the liver from damages like cirrhosis or hepatitis. It is a natural lipotropic that helps in reducing the excess fat in the body, specifically the liver. Choline is a vital ingredient that helps in the process of conversion of homocysteine that is in the blood to other substances, that lowers its levels in the blood. As a result, it prevents from cardiovascular problems. Hence, choline is quite important for various health issues.
Signs Of Choline Deficiency
The choline deficiency comes in various levels, and also comes in various symptoms too. The mild symptoms or indications are generally neglected that includes symptoms like lack of focus, weak grasping power for studies, poor functioning of memory, etc. These symptoms are noticed when the acetylcholine level is reduced in your body through your meals. When the adequate amount of choline is not obtained from meals, the brain starts utilizing choline from the cell walls that can lead to harmful problems on long-term basis leading to disorders like Alzheimer’s and other mental disorders.
Coming to the serious conditions of the deficiency, the symptoms are seen in the liver and the kidney. Fatty liver and kidney necrosis are some of the dangerous symptoms that can also result into a hemorrhage.
Some other symptoms of choline deficiency are:
- Low energy levels of fatigue
- Memory loss
- Muscle pain
- Cognitive decline
- Damage to the nerves
- Disability in learning
- Mood swings or mood disorders
- Increase in fatigue
- Accumulation of lipids in blood and much more.
The overdose of choline is also harmful as it may lead to mild and serious problems like:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Low blood pressure
- Increase in salivation
- Unusual odor from the body, etc.
However, if an individual is suffering from a deficiency of amino acids, methionine, vitamin B-3 and foliate, the individual is also lacking adequate amount of choline in the body. Such people, mostly suffer from liver problems. Also, the people who depend on parenteral nutrition, have gone kidney transplants, bypass surgery, etc. suffer from the deficiency of choline.
Choline is also harmful in excess quantity. The richest sources of choline are eggs, milk, meats, poultry food and seafood. Hence, having all these in excess would convert choline into cardio toxicant or toxic byproduct. All these get absorbed by the gut within one hour of consumption. Hence, the more we consume these ingredients, increases the possibilities of having heart disease and other cardio related disorders. Choline and carnitine obtained from red meat get transformed into TMAO, that leads to problems like inflammation, heart attack, other heart disorders, stroke, and in serious conditions, death within three years.
Choline And Cancer – The Connection They Have
When the choline levels increase in the blood, the risk of developing prostate cancer also increases. When eggs are consumed in excess quantity, the chances of developing cancer, the growth of cancer and death due to cancer also increases. There are chances of developing lethal prostate cancer too, if hard boiled eggs are consumed than required as it increases the cholesterol levels in the body due to choline, TMAO, and toxic byproducts.
Choline also is responsible for the growth of liver cancer, due to the increase of carcinogenic chemicals in it. There are several mechanisms that promote cancer effects that lead to the deficiency of choline. The effects of deficiency of choline that indicate the chances of liver cancer are:
- Increase in liver cell regrowth.
- Sensitivity in tissues to react against chemicals.
- Regulation of cell differentiation, proliferation, DNA repairs, and improper DNA methylation.
- Mitochondrial dysfunction leading to oxidative stress and DNA damage.
- Increase in liver cell apoptosis and much more.
Sources Of Obtaining Choline
Mostly choline is obtained from non-vegetarian ingredients and eggs. And this is a prime reason that vegetarian person who also avoid having milk have high chances to develop the choline deficiency. Here are some sources that would provide you with the required amount of choline levels with regular meals.
- Eggs, peanuts, liver, and egg based dishes
- Meat, fish, shellfish and poultry items
- Dairy products, pasta and rice
- Wheat, beet, and spinach
- Milk chocolate, Brussel sprouts, and skimmed milk
- Cauliflower, peanut butter and soybeans
- Sesame seeds, potatoes, oats, and flax seeds
- Lentils, wheat germ, and broccoli
The daily requirement of choline changes as per the age and sex of the individual. For infants and babies, the ideal amount of choline required daily is 125-150 mg, while for children with ages between 1-8, regular intake of choline should be 150-250 mg. The teenage group between 8-13 years should take nearly 250-375 mg of choline. After 13, men should consume 550 mg daily, while women should consume 425 mg in a day. For pregnant women, the intake of choline should be around 450-550 mg, and for lactating women should have regular intake of 550 mg.
Supplements of Choline
In case of deficiency of choline or when your body doesn’t produce enough choline, doctors generally suggest to go for supplements for obtaining it. When it comes to supplements, lecithin is the commonly advised supplement of choline. Lecithin is obtained from soybeans, by adding it to the meals regularly. The supplements are also obtained from pills and powdered form by the name Choline Bitartrate and Phosphatidylcholine. There are liquid supplements also, that come in the form of choline chloride. This is the widely adopted supplement as pills and powders would lead to side-effects like stomach ache, diarrhea and nausea.
There are some supplements for choline that also work as memory boosters and help in the proper functioning of the brain. They include elements like Alpha GPC and Citicoline as they have a positive effect on the function of cognition. These supplements give wonderful results in the improvement of the mental status.
Choline is also strongly related with foliate, and they depend on each other for carrying a smooth function. Hence, individuals need to make a proper balance in obtaining both the nutrients that would help you in a healthy life.
Thus, include choline in your meals regularly and gift your nervous system, cell structures, DNA, brain, and liver a healthy and well-balanced functioning.