Choline

Choline, which is produced by the liver, is very similar to the B-Complex vitamins.  Because our bodies can produce choline it is not considered an essential nutrient, and only certain individuals need to obtain it through their diet or supplementation.

Choline has many different functions in the body, including maintaining the structural integrity of every cell, signaling functions of the cell membranes, aiding in the transport of lipids, and it is most commonly associated with nervous system health.  Studies have been performed on the health benefits of supplementing with choline beyond normal levels, but the majority of the evidence points to choline having no significant effect, or no effect at all.  Claims that choline enhances cognitive abilities, reaction time, stamina, etc. all appear to be unfounded.

There is no need to supplement choline unless your body is incapable of producing sufficient amounts.  People who may not produce enough choline include those with poor liver function, many seniors, and those with certain genetic conditions.  While there is no benefit to supplementing choline beyond normal levels, there are certainly risks to those who don't produce enough.  Choline is used by nearly every cell in the body, and is especially important to the nervous system, so deficiencies can lead to a myriad of adverse effects.

Choline is critical during pregnancy.  It affects fetal development, and is of particular importance during the development of the brain.  Insufficient levels can influence neural tube closure and the memory and learning functions of your unborn child.  Most healthy women of childbearing age produce enough on their own, but as a precaution, women who are pregnant should speak with their doctor to ensure that no additional choline is needed.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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