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Choline, also known as Vitamin B4, has many virtues such as acting on the proper functioning of the liver system, mood and memory.

Although it is present in many foods, it may be beneficial to supplement with choline to avoid any risk of deficiency in this essential vitamin.

Present in food and produced by the body, choline, also called vitamin B4 , is an essential molecule whose deficiency is quite rare in Western countries.

This substance necessary for life participates in the diffusion of chemical messages between cells. A choline deficiency can cause many developmental problems in the fetus, in children and in adults. Abnormalities which will have repercussions on the brain and liver.


What is choline?

Choline is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of our body. Although choline is synthesized by the liver, it is not always synthesized in sufficient quantities. This is the reason why a diet rich in choline or supplementation should be carried out in case of deficiency.

Generally speaking, the French population does not consume sufficient quantities of choline. Average intakes are well below medical recommendations. To remedy this, choosing foods rich in choline, or taking supplements may be a good solution.

The main sources of choline

Choline is present in food in the form of lecithin, a lipid composed of several fatty acids such as phosphate. It is important to consume it since it is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the body.

Foods rich in choline are:

  • eggs
  • the salmon
  • tofu
  • oatmeal
  • broccoli and certain dried vegetables

    For people who have difficulty finding sufficiently concentrated foods, supplementing with choline helps increase the presence of the molecule in the blood.

Choline deficiency: symptoms and consequences

Choline deficiency will depend on several factors which determine the need for daily intake: sex, genetics, age and pregnancy.

A choline deficiency leads to:

  • cardiovascular problems,
  • liver diseases,
  • muscular deconstruction.

Symptoms of choline deficiency are:

  • hypertension,
  • vomitings,
  • excessive salivation,
  • very strong body odor.

High-level athletes as well as postmenopic or pregnant women are particularly likely to be affected by this type of deficiency.

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What are the benefits of choline?

Choline plays an important role in metabolic process like cell building . It is involved in the composition of cell membranes as well as in the good health of the nervous system.

It is also a preferred neurotransmitter for various brain functions. In addition, like vitamin D, choline participates in the absorption of calcium.

Among its many virtues, we can note that:

Choline contributes to normal homocysteine ​​metabolism

Choline takes care of your heart by contributing to the normal metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid present in the blood. A high level of homocysteine increases the risk factor of developing heart problems. Choline is the precursor of betaine and contributes to its regulation in the blood.

Choline helps maintain normal liver function

Liver function corresponds to all the actions that the liver performs. Among them, energy storage, bile production, and detoxification of the body. Poor liver function does not allow the body to properly purify toxic products absorbed by the intestines.

Choline is a major element in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine, known for its effectiveness against liver disorders.

Choline regulates mood and memory

Integrating choline into your diet helps improve your memory , but also prevents all diseases that affect mood such as dementia.

Choline has a proven impact on the synthesis of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps stabilize mood.

Choline reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy

Choline can affect the development of the fetus and influence the course of the pregnancy period, especially if you are deficient. Swelling, headaches or even tension, choline considerably reduces the symptoms.

Choline regulates and improves endurance

For athletes practicing endurance physical activity where the body is subjected to effort for several hours, choline can play an important role. Psychological and physical fatigue linked to exercise will reduce the activity of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine and negatively influence the athlete's performance.

Choline will allow better transport of acetylcholine responsible for nerve impulses, which will allow the athlete to regulate their performance and improve their endurance.

Choline food supplement: what dosage?

Generally speaking, for women, the dosage should not exceed 425 mg. For men, the recommended daily intake of choline is 550 mg to avoid possible side effects and benefit from all the benefits of choline.

Choline: side effects and contraindications

People suffering from fibrosis, steatosis, hepatitis or any other liver disease cannot supplement with choline. The latter can lead to excess fat in the liver and thus aggravate a pathology already present in the body. For people with trimethylaminuria, taking choline nutrients is largely discouraged.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to consult a doctor or naturopath.

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