Choline is an essential nutrient which is water-soluble and belongs to the family of B-complex vitamins. It is an important vitamin for the body and promotes healthy and proper functionality of systems. The nutrient is very essential for early development as well as for almost all body functions throughout life. The nutrient mostly works by concerting with other nutrients like folate and methionine.
While the human body can, and does, make the vitamin, it is important to get it in the form of daily diet as well. Deficiency of choline can lead to various problems. Mostly, consumption of foods rich in the vitamin is enough to ensure that the body gets its adequate supply. At times, however, certain health problems interfere with the natural production of the vitamin in which case physicians and dieticians prescribe diets to people so that the daily needs can be fulfilled. There are many choline benefits, in everyday life as well as in treatment of certain conditions, and to make the most of them, a regular supply of the vitamin must be given to the body.
Features of a Choline Rich Diet
In 2004, the USDA published the Database for Choline in Foods and this gave a clearer view of what foods are rich in choline and should be a part of the nutrient-rich diet. A general diet designed to help people fulfill their daily requirement of the vitamin almost always includes these foods, albeit in controlled and regulated quantities:
- Beef liver when served pan-fried, contains 100 grams or 418 miligrams of the vitamin.
- A whole large egg has 112 milligrams of the nutrient.
- Lean ground beef, when made into a patty of 3.5 ounces contains 81 milligrams of choline.
- Cauliflower roughly contains about 62 milligams of the nutrient.
- Navy beans are a good source of the vitamin and 1/2 can of the cooked beans contains about 48 milligrams of it.
Tofu, almonds and peanut butter are also some of the best known sources of choline with average contents of 28 milligrams, 26 milligrams and 20 milligrams, respectively.
The vitamin is also sold as a nutritional supplement and while this is an easier and more convenient way to include in the daily diet, it can be expensive.
Choline is an important nutrient for the body and serves many functions. It is important for the structuring of cell membranes and the vitamin prevents the livers from accumulating fat thereby protecting it from decay and damage. For infants and fetuses, the vitamin is very important as it promotes rapid and healthy development. Expecting mothers are given supplements to ensure that their daily requirement of the nutrient is met. For infants, mother's milk is the best source but when nursing, mothers need to increase their intake and are either put on regular nutritional supplements or on a diet rich in the vitamin.
Research has revealed that not only does the nutrient help protect the liver, it also aids the treatment of liver diseases. In certain cases, choline has been known to reverse the damage completely.
Studies have revealed that the nutrient has a positive effect on the treatment of atherosclerosis, some neurological disorders, glaucoma and hepatitis. People suffering from alcohol addiction also benefit from reguar intake. In addition, it benefits patients of Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, depression and liver disorders.
Although there is no scientific study backing the positive effects of the vtiamin in treatment of traumatic brain injury, it is being used for the same.
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