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Choline: Sources and Health benefits

old message Can our health benefit from supplmenting choline? Darrell Miller 11/18/12


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Date: November 18, 2012 11:01 AM
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Subject: Can our health benefit from supplmenting choline?

Discovery

Choline, discovered in 1864 by the German chemist, Adolph Strecker, is an essential nutrient, usually grouped under the vitamin B family. While the human body does synthesize small amounts of choline, dietary consumption is a must in order to maintain a healthy body. Deficiency of choline can lead to a number of serious health issues including neurological problems, insomnia, accumulation of fat in the liver, damage to the kidneys and also cardiovascular disease. There are a range of important functions that choline performs in the body.

Some of the key health benefits of choline are:

Maintenance of brain health: The neurotransmitter or the messenger molecule, acetylcholine, that transmits signals from the brain to the muscles and various organs in the body such as the liver, heart, lungs etc, is synthesized using choline. Thus, it plays a very important role in memory and muscle control. Research also suggests that choline has a calming effect on the brain and helps reduce panic and anxiety attacks.

Maintenance of cell membranes: The integrity and flexibility of cell membranes depends on the presence of satisfactory amounts of choline thus making it a prerequisite for appropriate cell metabolism.

Maintenance of Liver health: Choline is responsible for preventing the accumulation of cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver hence preventing hepatosteatosis, a condition more commonly known as fatty liver.

Anti inflammatory benefits: Studies have revealed that inflammatory markers such as Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, Homocysteine, etc., which are associated with various illnesses such as Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis and also various cancers, show reduced levels if adequate amounts of choline are consumed in the diet. 

Food Sources

Apart from those stated above there are many more health benefits of choline and hence it is very important to consume foods that are rich in this nutrient. In addition to seafood and meat, foods that have high choline content include, Dairy and poultry products like Skim milk and Egg yolk, peanut butter; Vegetables such as Cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, Asparagus, Green beans and Fruits like Bananas and Oranges. Soybeans, due to their high lecithin content, are also a fantastic source of choline. Seeds like flax seed, sesame seeds and grains like corn, barley and oats are also rich in choline content.

Maintenance of adequate levels of choline is imperative in order to maintain optimal health. It is therefore very important to have periodic health checkups so that any deficiencies are identified and addressed as soon as possible.









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