July 23, 2016

Choline

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What other names is Choline known by?

Bitartre de Choline, Chlorure de Choline, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Chloride, Choline Citrate, Citrate de Choline, Colina, Facteur Lipotropique, Hydroxyde de Triméthylammonium (bêta-hydroxyéthyl), Intrachol, L-Choline, Lipotropic Factor, Methylated Phosphatidylethanolamine, Trimethylethanolamine, Triméthyléthanolamine, (beta-hydroxyethyl) Trimethylammonium hydroxide.

What is Choline?

Choline is similar to the B vitamins. It can be made in the liver. It is also found in foods such as liver, muscle meats, fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach, wheat germ, and eggs.

Choline is used for liver disease, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is also used for depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, Huntington's chorea, Tourette's disease, a brain disorder called cerebellar ataxia, certain types of seizures, and a mental condition called schizophrenia.

Athletes use it for bodybuilding and delaying fatigue in endurance sports.

Choline is taken by pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in their babies and it is used as a supplement in infant formulas.

Other uses include preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol, and controlling asthma.

Likely Effective for...

  • Liver disease caused by exclusive feeding by vein (parenteral nutrition). Giving choline intravenously (by IV) treats liver disease in people receiving parenteral nutrition who are choline deficient.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Asthma. Taking choline seems to lessen symptoms and the number of days that asthma is a problem for some people. It also seems to reduce the need to use bronchodilators. There is some evidence that higher doses of choline (3 grams daily) might be more effective than lower doses (1.5 grams daily).
  • Neural tube defects. Some research indicates that women who consume a lot of choline in their diet around the time of conception have a lower risk of having babies with a neural tube defect, compared to women with lower intake.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Alzheimer's disease. Taking choline by mouth, alone or together with lecithin, does not reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Athletic performance. Taking choline by mouth does not seem to improve athletic performance or lessen fatigue during exercise.
  • A brain condition called cerebellar ataxia. Early research suggests that taking choline by mouth daily might improve motor function in people with a brain condition called cerebellar ataxia. However, other research shows that taking choline does not improve cerebellar ataxia in most people.

Likely Ineffective for...

  • Memory loss due to age. Taking choline by mouth does not improve memory in older people with memory loss.
  • Schizophrenia. Taking choline by mouth does not reduce symptoms of schizophrenia.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Allergies (hayfever). Early research suggest that taking a particular type of choline daily for 8 weeks is not as effective as a nasal spray for reducing allergy symptoms.
  • Bipolar disorder. Early research suggests that taking choline might reduce some mood symptoms in people with bipolar disorder who are taking lithium.
  • Bronchitis. Early research suggests that inhaling choline might improve symptoms of bronchitis caused by dust.
  • Mental performance. Early research suggests that taking a single dose of choline does not improve reaction time, reasoning, memory, or other mental functions. Other research suggests choline can improve visual memory, but not other aspects of mental function, when given along with intravenous feeding (parenteral nutrition).
  • Seizures. There are reports that taking high doses of choline might be helpful for some people with a type of seizure called complex partial seizures.
  • Hepatitis and other liver disorders.
  • Depression.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Huntington's chorea.
  • Tourette's syndrome.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate choline for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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