B-Vitamin Choline

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The B-vitamin Choline is one of the most important vitamins you’ve never heard of.  It’s a critical component of the body’s fat metabolizing machinery and may be one of the most important supplements to take for preventing fatty liver disease.  The best food sources are egg yolks, meats (especially liver), fish, and lecithin. Choline is also an important component of acetylcholine which plays a significant role in memory, intelligence and overall brain health.


Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient. It is a basic constituent of lecithin, which is present in many plants and animal organs. The term cholines refers to the class of quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation (X− on the right denotes an undefined counteranion).

B-vitamin CholineThe cation appears in the head groups of phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two classes of phospholipid that are abundant in cell membranes. Choline is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control.

Some animals cannot produce choline, but must consume it through their diet to remain healthy. Humans make choline in the liver. Whether dietary or supplemental choline is beneficial or harmful to humans has not been determined. Possible benefits include reducing the risk of neural tube defects and fatty liver disease. It has also been found that intake of choline during pregnancy can have long-term beneficial effects on memory for the child. [Source]

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Nutrition