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Choline is an essential nutrient that is often overlooked by people when considering their daily vitamin, mineral, and nutrient intake. There are many different types of choline, as well as a multitude of brands which all claim health benefits such as: supporting mental health, improving cognitive function, and boosting your metabolism. This is all paired with the ability to potentially reverse some types of liver damage.
Choline is naturally occurring, so you may already be consuming a healthy amount. Continue reading to learn more about choline, decide if you need a supplement, and find out the top ten supplements.
What is Choline?
Choline is a nutrient that assists in the synthesis of two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes. This is important because cells need healthy membranes for structure and intracellular communication. There are many more benefits, as well.
An example of choline’s function in the body is DNA synthesis, which is part of the natural growth and repair process of cells. Choline’s place in DNA synthesis makes it a powerful nootropic (brain-boosting) nutrient because it contributes to the growth and repair of neuron connections.
Choline is also an important factor ingredient for making the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps maintain memory, muscle control. Another crucial thing that acetylcholine assists with is heartbeat regulation.
Without enough choline, you may experience symptoms ranging from mood and anxiety issues to a fatty liver or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD). NAFLD is a disease in which the liver is caused by the buildup of fat cells in the liver. Rapid weight loss may contribute to this disease, as well as poor eating habits, which would reduce your choline intake.
Small amounts of choline are made in the liver, but there is not enough produced to stay healthy, that means humans must obtain extra choline from their diets. Choline occurs in many different food sources from eggs, milk, and fish, to potatoes, brussels sprouts, and even bread.
How Much Choline Do You Need?
Recommended Intakes of choline vary based on gender and age, with 19+-year-old males and lactating females needing the most choline per day. The average adequate intakes are described here:
- 9-13-Year-old males and females need 375 milligrams of choline per day.
- 14-18-year-old males need 550 milligrams, and females of this age require 400 milligrams.
- 19+-year-old males require 550 milligrams, and females require 425 milligrams
- Pregnant females 14+ years old require 450 milligrams, and lactating females require 550 milligrams.
These recommendations are general averages—if you aren’t sure what amount is right for you, please speak to your healthcare provider to find out how much choline you need per day.
Choline is a very important nutrient, and not just for cognitive health and development; choline is very important in the maintenance of cell membranes, it also is very important for liver function, and muscle health.
For many people, choline can be sourced primarily from the diet. It just takes incorporating more choline-rich foods into your diet. If this is not the case for you, you may need choline supplements. This would be a good thing to discuss with your doctor.
Why Do We Need Choline?
Choline is necessary for many of our bodily processes. It is rarely tested for, but choline deficiency can cause some major problems. The good thing though, is that choline occurs naturally in many foods, and it is also created in the liver. If you feel that you may not be getting enough choline, it is always good to check with your medical provider.
Choline is a major component in liver function. People deficient in choline may develop fatty liver and liver damage. The liver is one of the first places that choline arrives once it is digested. The liver stores choline and is one of the main places choline metabolism, and methylation take place. Recent findings show that choline is a key player in the avoidance of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFD).
It is also suggested from recent studies that choline assists with limiting neurologic damage in stroke patients, as well as playing a necessary role for the cognitive development and later cognitive abilities of animals in certain studies.
Choline is necessary on its own for sustaining liver and cognitive function, but it is important that B vitamins are incorporated into your diet as well because they work alongside choline as methyl donors who are necessary for the synthesis of DNA, to assist in the growth and repair of cells within the body.
The suggested intake of B-Vitamins varies by age and gender as well, but also by which of the nine b-vitamins you take. More B-complex vitamins are needed for pregnant women. These vitamins are typically only needed in small amounts, remember to talk to your healthcare professional to establish the right amount of each of the B-vitamins for you.
Should I Take a Choline Supplement?
The best choline supplement for you may be no choline supplement, because you may be getting enough with your diet. Pregnant and lactating women are the most likely sufferers of a choline deficiency. If you feel that you may not be obtaining enough choline, or if you know that you need to add choline to your diet, a supplement may be right for you.
People that can typically benefit from a choline supplement are:
- Pregnant women (prenatal vitamins typically neglect choline)
- People with genetic alterations in the PEMT gene.
- People receiving Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)
There are many foods that are very high in choline; these would be the first suggested treatment for choline deficiency. These include:
- Brown Rice
How Can a Choline Deficiency Harm You?
The main risk of not getting enough choline from your diet is liver damage. A lack of choline can severely inhibit the function of your liver. This leads to diseases such as fibrosis, and NAFD, choline is also very important to the development of young children, and it is necessary that they and their mothers receive enough choline.
It is also suggested that choline is important to the cardiovascular system; it helps to regulate the processes and may prevent strokes. Choline deficiencies may also lead to a lack of focus and motivation, as well as less ability to control mood.
It is very important that pregnant and nursing mothers take in enough choline to aid in the development of children because choline is an essential nutrient for this purpose.
What Are the Benefits of a Choline Supplement?
Choline is important, and many people eat less than the suggested intake of choline per day. Choline supplements may be beneficial in many aspects of your life; here are the benefits suggested by some research:
- Improved Memory, there is a suggestion that choline may help with memory, especially in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- NAFLD Prevention, this is a disease that affects the liver where too many fat cells accumulate instead of healthy liver cells. This disease occurs in 65% of overweight people, and up to 90% of obese people.
- Liver disease prevention, in animal models, it has been shown that choline deficiency may lead to liver cancer, and choline supplements may reduce this risk.
- Liver health promotion, choline is necessary for the liver to function properly.
- Muscle Health, studies suggest that a choline supplement can improve your strength when taken with exercise.
- Cognitive Function Maintenance, especially after a stroke, choline and b-vitamin complexes may help maintain neuroplasticity.
What Are the Different Types of Choline Supplements?
There are many different types of choline supplements, so it is important to research to find the right kind for you. Just a quick search online will pull up supplements such as choline bitartrate, citicoline, Alpha-GPC. With all of these different types of supplements, it can be hard to decide which one might benefit you the most. Here is a rundown of the common types of choline supplements on the market.
Choline Bitartrate is the most cost-effective choline supplement, and very common in the choline supplement market. It is a very good supplement to fill bodily choline needs, but it is not a very effective nootropic (cognitive ability-enhancing) version of choline. It is about 41% choline and is a good source of bioavailable choline.
Phosphatidylcholine is a form of choline that is found within the body. It consists of a phospholipid attached to a choline particle. This type of choline is suggested to be very good for liver repair, as well as warding off the side effects of some medicines. Studies have even suggested that phosphatidylcholine supplements can benefit Alzheimer’s patients.
Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphorylcholine, more commonly known as Alpha-GPC, has a comparable choline density to choline bitartrate, at around 40% choline per sample of the supplement. This means you absorb about 40 milligrams of choline per 100-milligram dose. Alpha-GPC is different from choline bitartrate; however, because it can affect cognitive health and improve aspects such as memory. Studies also suggest that this form of choline can assist with building strength when taken with exercise.
Citicoline Supplements are typically only 18% choline by weight. However, they contain another important nootropic in the form of cytidine; this is a key component in uracil, which is a nucleotide(a building block of DNA). This helps the body keep strong connections in the brain.
How Do You Choose the Best Choline Supplement?
There are many different types of choline supplements, but with some research and a discussion with your medical provider, you can find the best choline supplement for you. This can be broken down into a few simple steps:
- Decide which type of choline supplement will best suit you. There are many different kinds which all have benefits of their own. Some, like choline bitartrate, are better for overall body and liver health, while supplements of phosphatidylcholine and Alpha-GPC have suggested cognitive benefits.
- Understand how much choline you need to add to your diet. There is a good variety in sizes of supplements ranging from just 50mg to 650mg. If you aren’t sure, discuss with your health care provider to find the right amount for you.
- Compare choline supplements which fit into the criteria (set by steps 1 and 2). Balance the costs and benefits of each supplement. Try to choose one that is Good Manufacturing Process certified, as well as FDA approved. Once you find good quality supplements, you can compare the prices to determine the best value for you.
Following these steps is a good guideline for choosing the best choline supplement for you; however, it is important that you have a discussion with your healthcare provider.
Can You Take Too Much Choline?
Choline is a very important nutrient, but like all supplements, there is a limit to how much choline you should consume per day. The limits are based on age. Children under 12 months old should not take a choline supplement unless recommended by your healthcare provider.
- 1-8-year-old children should not consume more than 1,000mg per day.
- 9-13-year old children should consume less than 2,000mg per day.
- 14-18-year old teenagers should consume less than 3,000mg per day.
- People aged 19+ should consume no more than 3,500mg of choline per day.
Taking too much choline can have health consequences, such as cardiovascular issues, vomiting, sweating, excessive salivation, and fishy body odor. It is very important to make sure you do not take too much choline or any supplement.
Tips for Taking the Best Choline Supplement
After you have chosen a supplement that is right for you, make sure not to take too much or take anything that may conflict with your choline intake. These are some general tips to keep you safe and to help get the most benefit from your choline supplements.
- Don’t consume over 3,500 mg of choline per day.
- Eat healthily to obtain most of the choline you consume from your diet.
Consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions about choline supplements. Choline is not known to have any adverse effects when taking it with other supplements or medication; however, ask your doctor if you are unsure.
Reviews on the Top 10 Best Choline Supplements
Here is our list of the top 10 best choline supplements. This will include a little bit about each product, and why we believe this is a good supplement. We have included all four major types of choline supplements to give a range of good supplements. This is our list of supplements, but it cannot replace the advice of your medical provider. Contact them whenever you need supplement advice.
The Double Wood product contains 420mg of bioavailable choline. This best choline supplement may improve the aging brain’s cognitive ability.
This contains a 210-day supply of choline, as it is suggested that you take one per day. This supplement is Non-GMO, which means it hasn’t been genetically modified. It is a vegetarian supplement. It is gluten-free and third-party tested, but it does contain soy as it is derived from soy lecithin, which is a high choline ingredient used in emulsifying food.
This company and best choline supplement have earned many positive reviews; people trust this company; they say their mind feels sharper, and that you get very good quality for a very reasonable price.
According to Thorne, this best choline supplement helps to protect your liver, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and keep bile flowing regularly. There are 420mg of choline per serving with 60 gel caps per bottle. Thorne tests its products four times before putting them on the market and is a company focused on sustainability.
Reviews claim that this brand is very good for those with allergies, as well as improving mental clarity and sharpness.
Absonutrix Citicoline claims to offer a rich source of citicoline as you take 1-2 tablets with a meal. This best choline supplement may help cognitive ability and overall brain health. Reviews from around the world claim that this product is very good and very helpful for mental clarity.
This best choline supplement contains a lower dosage of choline and may be helpful for those that only require a little bit of extra choline in their diets. At 250 mg per serving and 60 capsules per bottle, there is a good value for the quality and quantity of this best choline supplement. This product may support memory, attention, and focus.
The reviews on this best choline supplement say that it has timely delivery and that it’s a product that they would order again.
This best choline supplement may help with cognition and memory enhancement. It is also suggested that it will help rebuild cell membranes that have broken down, as well as offering the benefit of increased exercise performance. This contains 150mg of choline per serving and up to 60 servings of Alpha-GPC capsules.
Reviews on this supplement say that this is the perfect dosage of Alpha-GPC. As was mentioned before, Alpha-GPC choline is suggested to be a very powerful ingredient in preserving cognitive function, especially in stroke victims and those suffering from dementia.
Double Wood Alpha-GPC
This Alpha-GPC supplement claims to support memory, motivation, focus, and energy. As with the other Double Wood choline supplement, this one is Non-GMO, soy and gluten-free, and made in the USA. This supplement says to take 1-2 per day for best results.
Reviews on this supplement say it is great for fatigue, boosts mental sharpness, some reviews suggest taking a half dose a few times before taking a full dose.
Good for Prenatal Baby Brain Development
This product is organic and made in the USA; this supplement is manufactured in a facility that is FDA inspected and Good Management Practices certified.
The manufacturer is a small company that is family-owned.
These capsules are easy to swallow and have ingredients with clinical support. These capsules are also 3rd party tested. With 325 mg of choline, this supplement is suggested to be very good as a prenatal vitamin, and for nursing women. This supplement also claims to support the cognitive function and brain health of adults and seniors. There are 200 vegetarian capsules per bottle. The recommended dosage is two capsules per day.
Reviews on this product say things such as it is of superior quality, the choline helped reviewers avoid fatty liver disease; they claim mental sharpness benefits as well. There are many very pleased reviews with this top choline supplement.
Bulk Supplements Choline Bitartrate
This best choline supplement offers a budget-friendly way to get the benefits of choline, including cardiovascular support and cell membrane development during pregnancy.
These best choline supplements are vegetarian and gluten-free.
This supplement claims to help with athletic endurance, heart health, mental wellness. This supplement is lab tested, and it is suggested to take one 750mg capsule of choline daily.
The reviews claim that this product is amazing and that it helps with issues such as anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The reviewers claim to have more mental clarity and more ability to sleep and focus.
May Be Helpful for Brain Fog and Clearer Thinking
According to reviews, this choline supplement has helped some people with brain fog and also symptoms of fatty liver disease.
It claims to have an advanced absorption rate and improve cellular health. As was mentioned before choline bitartrate is one of the best choline supplement types for overall health. Choline bitartrate is not extremely popular as a nootropic, but it is a very common choice for liver health, especially. This supplement also shows that research suggests choline helps with hormone production and cholesterol metabolism.
This supplement contains 500 mg servings, which could last you for up to 100 days.
The reviews on this supplement state things such as an inexpensive source of choline to help liver health. Most of the reviews were very pleased with this product. It is quality and inexpensive.
Nested Choline Bitartrate is vegan, vegetarian, Non-GMO, and third-party tested.
According to Nested, this supplement will help with brain development and maintenance, as well as assisting pregnant and nursing mothers. It also claims to support overall health and wellness. This supplement is also GMP certified.
This supplement consists of 250 mg tablets, and the suggested serving size is two tablets leading to 500 mg of extra choline per day.
This best choline supplement has many reviews that state it has mental clarity benefits, ADHD relief, and reducing of brain fog.
Final Thoughts on the Best Choline Supplements
Choline is a necessary nutrient for all people. Some may take in enough from their diets, but some people may need a supplement. If you need a choline supplement, these ten listed are all very good options.
This article is about the best choline supplements, but it is not a supplement for your doctor’s advice, so please consult your doctor or medical professional about taking any supplements, including choline.
Feel free to contact us to let us know about your experiences with choline and choline supplements.