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Learn Your L-Choline in 5 Minutes

by Wearefeel Team |

– The Health Dossier with WeAreFeel

What is choline?

Choline bitartrate, commonly known as choline, is an essential nutrient that is chemically similar to a vitamin. While this substance is naturally produced by the liver in small amounts, you need to take in adequate levels of dietary choline to preserve your cellular integrity and boost your neurological health.


Is choline bitartrate water-soluble or fat-soluble?

Choline bitartrate is water-soluble, which means that your body processes this nutrient rapidly, and it doesn’t build up in your organs or other tissues.


Where can choline bitartrate be found naturally?

You can find choline in a variety of animal products including eggs, liver, and chicken. However, plant-based sources of choline are rare, and they are not commonly rich in this essential nutrient.


5 foods/drinks containing choline bitartrate

1. Beef liver 65% DV per 3oz or 85g

2. Egg 27% DV per 1 egg or 56g or 2oz

3. Beef 21% DV per 3oz or 85g

4. Soy 19% DV per ½ cup or 64g

5. Chicken breast 13% DV per 3oz or 85g


What is the recommended daily intake for choline bitartrate?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adult males need to consume 550mg of choline per day, and adult females need to consume 425mg of choline daily. This recommended dose jumps to 450mg per day for pregnant women and 550mg per day for lactating women.


What to consume to get a full daily dose of choline bitartrate?

Beef liver - approximately 141g

Eggs - approximately 4 eggs, 200 grams

Beef - approximately 425g

Soy - approximately 2.5 cups or 320g

Chicken breast - approximately 650g


Can you absorb enough of choline bitartrate from food?

While choline is relatively abundant in a variety of foods, most food-based sources of choline do not contain enough of this essential nutrient to get you through the day. Unless you relish the idea of eating a 16oz steak every day or munching on roasted soybeans every waking moment, it’s best to get the choline you need from a daily multivitamin.


Why is choline bitartrate necessary for your body?

Your body uses choline to make phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, which are the two primary components of cellular membranes. Without choline, your body would not be able to maintain cellular integrity, and since this substance is also used to make acetylcholine, it is essential for proper neuronal signalling and gene expression.


Functions of choline bitartrate

Cell production and maintenance: Without proper intake of dietary choline, your body is incapable of creating and maintaining cell membranes.

Neurotransmitter production: Choline is necessary to make acetylcholine, which is one of the primary neurotransmitters.

Gene expression: Choline is a methyl donor, which means it alters DNA methylation and controls gene expression.

Brain development: Fetuses and children need large amounts of choline for early brain development.


Symptoms of choline bitartrate deficiency

Fatty Liver

Choline is essential for proper fat transport, and without it, lipids could build up in your liver. Symptoms of fatty liver include abdominal pain and jaundice.

Kidney Necrosis

Inadequate levels of choline can cause kidney necrosis, which is when your kidney tissue starts to die without being regenerated. Symptoms of kidney necrosis include frequent, painful urination and the presence of kidney tissue in your urine.


Choline is involved in proper neural signalling, so lack of this essential nutrient can result in persistent fatigue.


How long do you need to take choline bitartrate to start experiencing its benefits if you’re deficient?

Since choline does not need to build up in your system before it takes effect, it’s usually possible to experience some improvement in deficiency symptoms immediately after you start choline supplementation. However, full recovery may take 30 days to 1 year depending on the severity of your deficiency.


How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb choline bitartrate?

Since the necessity of choline for human health was discovered relatively recently, reliable data on the absorption rate of this nutrient are not available.


How long does choline bitartrate stay in your body after you take it?

Since choline is a water-based nutrient, it is excreted out of your body relatively rapidly. In most cases, your body excretes this nutrient within 24-72 hours.


Is choline bitartrate an antioxidant?

Choline is not a direct antioxidant, but due to its effects on gene expression, this substance may assist the action of various antioxidants present in your body. Therefore, ingesting adequate levels of dietary choline may help your body fight back against free radicals and defend your cellular integrity.


Can you overdose on choline bitartrate? What are the effects?

Choline is considered to be toxic at doses exceeding 10,000mg per day. Symptoms of choline overdose include a fishy odor emitting from your pores, vomiting, and increased salivation and sweating. In most cases, your body excretes excess choline rapidly, which means that overdose symptoms don’t last long.


Does choline bitartrate dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Choline does not build up in your body. Instead, it flushes out relatively rapidly.


Can you take choline bitartrate during a diet?

Consuming choline does not interfere with any dietary restrictions. However, most of the sources of this nutrient are animal-based, which makes sourcing choline from food problematic for vegetarians and vegans.


Are there synthetic forms of choline bitartrate?

Choline bitartrate is synthetic, as are all other types of choline found in supplements. The only type of natural choline is that which is found in food.


Why might synthetic forms of choline bitartrate be better?

Choline is exceedingly difficult to extract from food, which makes the production of synthetic choline an economic necessity. Choline bitartrate is the safest and most effective form of synthetic choline.


Absorption rate of synthetic choline

Theoretically, the absorption rates of natural and synthetic choline should be roughly equal, but no reliable data are available on this subject.


Why might natural forms of choline be better?

Natural forms of choline might have better absorption rates, but no data are available to either confirm or deny this assumption.


How to take choline bitartrate

You can take choline by consuming choline-rich foods, or you can consume this substance in supplements.


Choline bitartrate trends in medicine

In 2019, researchers discovered that choline may have neuroprotective benefits that go beyond just the individual who consumes this nutrient. Due to its effects on gene signalling, it’s possible that choline has an epigenetic effect that causes the descendants of people who consume adequate levels of this essential nutrient to be at a lesser risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.




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