In order to be healthy, sometimes we have to take a supplement to make sure we get enough vitamins and minerals. That is a very easy task. For example, calcium is essential for bones, while omega-3s play are responsible for keeping us healthy. But, are you familiar with choline? If you are like most adults, you probably have not even heard of it.
Choline is an important nutrient. The truth is that, most of us have no idea what it is. According to one Nutrition Reviews analysis, only 10% of health professionals recommend choline to their patients.
What exactly does choline do?
Choline plays an essential role in fat metabolism.The dietitian Sarah Pflugradt says: "Without choline and the reactions it contributes to in the body, fat and cholesterol build up and accumulate in the liver, instead of being transported to the bloodstream."
This is very important, because as fat and cholesterol build up in the liver, you are at higher risk for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is a condition that is closely related to metabolic syndrome.
"Choline's role is wide-reaching," says Pflugradt. According to some studies, it plays an essential role in fighting levels of inflammatory markers that are related to heart diseases.
Choline may also play an important role in brain health, boosting cognitive functions like verbal and visual memory and motor speed in older adults. Recent study even suggests that enough choline intake could reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Do you know that choline is fairly easy to find—as long as you know where to look? Egg yolks are choline powerhouses, delivering around 35% of the choline you need in a day. Women need 425 mg choline per day, while men need 550 mg, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Some good sources include, beef, scallops, salmon, and chicken, along with broccoli, brussels sprouts, and peanut butter.