Choline is a vitamin-like nutrient. It is an essential nutrient, meaning that even though your liver can make it in small amounts, you must also obtain it in the diet. It is often classified as a part of the B vitamin family, for it shares many of the same functions as the B vitamins do.
This essential nutrient plays a role in many key reactions in the body such as methylation, transport of lipids, creating neurotransmitters, promoting cognitive function and regulation of metabolism.
Choline is stored mainly in the body’s fat molecules, called phospholipids. The most predominant storage form of choline in the body is called phosphatidylcholine.
With regards to cardiovascular health, choline is especially important to reducing homocysteine levels, controlling heart rhythm and regulating cholesterol levels.
Choline is an integral structural building block of cell membranes. It is an important component of the fats that support the integrity and structure of the cells in the body.
Choline is required for the synthesis of the key neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is responsible for cognition, memory and mood. Choline is especially important for early brain development. Recently, a novel study revealed that choline could protect against Alzheimer’s disease pathology across multiple generations.
Choline is needed to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which regulates heartbeat. Acetylcholine is an important component of the parasympathetic nervous system and this neurotransmitter coordinates proper contraction and relaxation of heart muscle cells.
Choline is needed to make phosphatidylcholine, a phospholipid required to keep cholesterol levels in check and eliminate excess cholesterol and fat from the liver.
Choline lowers levels of homocysteine by converting it to methionine. In excess, homocysteine acts as an inflammatory toxin to the heart and brain. There are many risks associated with high homocysteine. Increased intake of choline has been linked to reduced levels of circulating homocysteine.
Choline is a vital nutrient for the health of the liver. In fact, when a choline deficiency is present, liver cell death occurs. Additionally, new research suggests a lack of choline in the diet could increase one’s risk for developing fatty liver disease and liver damage.
Choline, along with vitamin B12 and folate, are required for the biochemical processes involved in the creation of DNA.
Often, depending on the condition one has, supplementation is required along with adequate choline intake in the diet.
Try our Kick Start My Heart for a natural source of choline. This is our organ meat supplement rich in choline. Take 3 tabs per day for general health along with consuming an overall Paleo diet.
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