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Choline

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Choline supplement is used to treat choline deficiency and boost cognitive functions. It is a vital nutrient produced in small amounts by the liver and found in certain foods like beans, meat, fish, nuts, eggs and vegetables. 

Both humans, plants and animals need choline to maintain cell structure. Choline is essential to humans because it carries out many functions in the body, including the removal of fat and cholesterol from the liver, forming acetylcholine, making compounds needed for cell signalling, and supporting the integrity of cell membranes. 

However, the human body does not make as much choline as it uses, so you must consume it from your diet. Choline deficiency can lead to several health complications, which is why choline is available in supplement form for those who can’t get enough of it from their diet. 

Dosage

The dosage for choline depends on your age and condition, but always speak with a healthcare provider before taking choline supplements to confirm the recommended dosage appropriate for your needs. Choline is safe when taken in doses less than 3.5 g daily. 

Here is a breakdown of choline dosage for different ages and genders.

Age  Male  Female
0 to 6 months 125 mg 125 mg
7 to 12 months 150 mg 150 mg
1 to 3 years 200 mg 200 mg
4 to 8 years 250 mg 250 mg
9 to 13 years 375 mg 375 mg
14 to 18 years 550 mg 400 mg
19 years and older 550 mg 420 mg
Pregnant women
450 mg
Breastfeeding mothers 550 mg

 

Side Effects of Choline

The side effects of choline supplement include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fishy body odour and sweating. In severe cases, a person may experience hypotension and liver toxicity.

These side effects are often expected when people take excessive amounts of choline, so if you notice any of these side effects, discontinue the supplement immediately and contact a doctor for further directives. 

Precautions

Choline is safe for pregnant women when taken in doses up to 3.5 g daily, but there is not enough evidence to tell whether higher doses are safe, so it is best you stick to the recommended doses if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Taking up to 9 grams of choline daily can cause loss of bladder control.

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