Choline is a substance that belongs to the group of vitamins. It is a significant organic component as it has an antioxidant, neuroprotective and cardioprotective action. Let’s find out better.
What is choline
Choline is an organic substance also known as vitamin J.
It is a key essential nutrient in phospholipids and acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Main functions of choline
Choline is involved in the production of acetylcholine, which is a fundamental neurotransmitter for numerous functions of the nervous system (mood, behavior, orientation, etc.) and for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine (component of cell membranes) and sphingomyelin (essential for transmission of nerve impulses).
Choline is assimilated by the human body as trimethylamine (TMA). Tma is a compound that has a particular fishy odor and if taken in large quantities, it can cause the body to emit this odor as well.
Its importance in the clinical setting would be attributed to the role of precursor of chemical mediators and structural cellular elements.
Choline has neuroprotective, antioxidant and protective properties for the heart. Its action is essential for the human organism because it participates in the synthesis of biologically indispensable mediators. In particular, choline is useful:
- To counteract the harmful effects of homocysteine and thus help the heart.
- Because it participates in the formation of Phosphatidylcholine, a membrane phospholipid.
- Because it supports cell vitality.
- To safeguard nervous function.
- Against Alzheimer’s and senile dementia
Furthermore, Choline is also useful in case of liver diseases, heart and circulatory disorders, atherosclerosis and cognitive and perceptual disorders.
Where is the choline
Choline is only partially synthesized by the body and therefore must be integrated through the diet.
The main source of choline is lecithin. It is found in all foods, but especially in egg yolk, cereals, legumes (especially soy ), caviar and some vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce).
Choline is also found in ginger and brown rice. Many other foods contain small amounts of choline. It is found in large quantities in breast milk, soybeans, wheat germ, veal and turkey liver, and brewer’s yeast.
It is not possible to find choline in cow’s milk and it is good to know that some substances such as coffee, alcohol and particular drugs can compromise its integrity.
It is possible to introduce choline both indirectly through dietary lecithin and directly through the integration of phosphatidyl-choline (pills, powder and chloride) . It is also used as a thickener in many foods, such as mayonnaise, margarine and ice cream.
Contraindications of choline
The use of Choline is contraindicated in patients hypersensitive to the active ingredient.