Choline bitartrate dates back to 1849 when a German Chemist, Adolph Strecker, first confined it from pig bile. It was later extracted from white mustard seeds in 1852. In fact, this was the first time choline was found in a plant and therefore outside the human body.
In the 1930s, a study by Charles Best out of Toronto shows that choline prevents fatty liver in dogs and rats.
Human studies were conducted in the 1990s. In 1998 it was concluded that humans need some amount of choline in their diet and this research is documented via the National Academy of Medicine.
What Is Choline Bitartrate?
Choline bitartrate is a nutrient that is essential in humans and some compare it to B vitamins. However, it is neither vitamin, supplement, nor mineral.
Human bodies can make their own choline bitartrate. However, it is a meager amount, and therefore people need to obtain more from an outside source. People who don’t seek an external source for it will more likely have a choline bitartrate deficiency.
Choline bitartrate belongs to the positively charged water-soluble compound family. It breaks down to ethylene glycol, polyethylene glycols, and TMA. The chemical formula is C5H14NO+.
How Choline Bitartrate Works
Choline absorbs within the intestines and also transports as a free molecule in the blood. While humans keep most choline inside their bodies, very little is excreted out of the body via the urine. Rather, it stores in the cell membranes and inside the cells themselves.
While it’s true that choline bitartrate is organically in the body, you will also get more of it by eating the right foods.
Foods that are rich with choline include the following:
- Beef liver
- Chicken liver
- Milk Chocolate
- Soybean oil
- Vegetarian fillets
U.S Department of Agriculture recently released an updated version of choline content in foods, adding over 630 foods. Foods containing the most concentration are liver, eggs, and wheat germ. Additionally, avocado, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower are all excellent veggie sources.
In female subjects, studies conclude that animal products, including eggs, milk, chicken, beef, and pork are the most significant contributors of choline in the diet.
Choline Bitartrate Deficiency
Deficiency in humans is rare, however, it can be an issue. Those who experience a deficiency usually do so as a result of certain diseases and illnesses.
A person’s diet is the least likely cause and is, in fact, almost impossible. The most common cause is most likely to be linked to supplement dosage.
Does Choline Deficiency Cause Health Problems?
The answer is yes. In fact, it might cause severe health problems such as muscle damage and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In some instances, this even leads to cirrhosis.
A study in rats shows a deficiency of choline links to an increase in spontaneous liver cancer. This might be caused by enhanced liver cell regeneration and DNA damage caused by oxidative stress.
The Choline Bitartrate Benefits
Consuming proper nutrients is the base for a healthy body, both physically and mentally. However, there are a few essential nutrients that must be taken daily in order for the body to function optimally, and one of these nutrients includes choline.
Choline bitartrate works as a neurotransmitter for memory-related brain functions, provides needed nutrients for pregnant women, impacts liver function, plays a role in muscle movement, and impacts the nervous system and the body’s metabolism.
There is limited research for choline and brain function. However, studies have been done on humans while still in the womb and early developmental years.
One study suggests that choline is critical in fetal development due to its ability to alter the brain and spinal cord structure. The research also indicates that choline is an essential factor for brain memory over a lifetime.
Another study shows choline’s effects on depression and anxiety. This study took the general population of both sexes and two age groups 46-49 and 70-74 years old. It found that low choline quintile links with high anxiety levels. It also shows a significant association with choline in relation to anxiety levels.
Pregnancies & Babies
Choline is critical in the fetal development stages. What’s more, it is a factor in stem cell proliferation and apoptosis.
It is also taken by pregnant women in order to prevent neural tube defects. Interestingly, once the baby is born, choline is used in infant formula and can reduce the risk of NTDs or neural tube defects.
Another study shows the inhibition of choline uptake and metabolism during neurulation results in growth retardation and the developmental defects that affect the neural tube and face.
Pregnant women should take 450 mg/day, and 550 mg/day is recommended for lactating women. It is worth noting that human milk contains more choline compounds than soy-derived infant formulas.
Women who ingest a large amount of choline have been linked to having a lower risk of breast cancer.
One study of 1,508 women showed a decreased chance of breast cancer by 24%.
In men’s studies, it shows less promising cancer effects. Rather, high intakes of choline are linked to a greater risk of prostate cancer. The same study also links a higher risk of colon cancer for women.
56,000 people were studied based on low and high choline intake. Within the study, normal-weight women had a 28% chance of developing liver disease. The same study showed no significant changes in men or overweight women.
In another study, 664 people with NAFLD or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) were studied to determine if evidence of an inadequate intake of choline had more severe histologic features. This study found that postmenopausal women with deficient choline intake had worse fibrosis over time. The study showed no significant findings for premenopausal women, men, or children.
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the entire world, and choline is important in prevention.
In one study of choline and betaine shows that taking choline regularly lowers the rate of heart issues due to its ability to decrease inflammation and other risk factors.
A deficiency of choline produces an accumulation of homocysteine, which becomes elevated in the blood. When homocysteine elevates in the blood, it sometimes leads to heart disease and stroke.
Choline reduces inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for those with asthma.
Interestingly, it can limit the overall time period of asthma itself and can reduce the time a person may need to use bronchodilators.
What Is the Recommended Dose?
The recommended dose of choline bitartrate is going to depend on age, diet, health, and any illness a person may be experiencing.
Some patients may require a higher dose per day than others. Moreover, research indicates that 50% of the population carry genetic defects that require a higher level of choline intake.
Many professionals urge the need for more awareness surrounding choline to be made public as a necessary daily nutrient vs. a suboptimal one. They want to increase public knowledge so that people are willing to enhance their consumption if need be and also alter their diets.
Males and females require different intake of choline at various ages and stages throughout their life. It is essential to stick to the daily recommended dose, or it might cause damage to the liver.
As always, keep in mind that it is important to first consult with a physician before you start a new diet or add any type of supplement, nutrient, and mineral to your daily routine. While choline is necessary for health, the dosage is something that can be difficult to self-prescribe.
Adequate Intake Choline Bitartrate Chart
- Infants: not enough adequate research has been done, and recommendations vary. Newborns typically get choline from mother’s milk, but some research suggests 125mg/day
- 12 Months: 150 mg/day
- 1-3 Years: 200 mg/day
- 4- 8 Years: 250 mg/day
- 9-13 Years: 375 mg/day
- 14-19 Years: 550 mg/day for males and 400 mg/day for women
- 19+ Years Adult Women: 425 mg/day
- 19+ Years Adult Male: 425 mg/day
- Pregnant Women: 450 mg/day
- Breastfeeding Women: 550 mg/day
Upper-Level Intake Choline Bitartrate Dose
- Children one to ten years old can reach 1,000 mg/day.
- Children eleven to thirteen years old can reach 2,000 mg/day
- Children fourteen to eighteen years old can reach 3,000 mg/day
- 19+ years of age can reach 3,500 mg/day
In the United States, overall, choline intake is too low.
Conclusively, people who have low choline diets should search for supplements to aid them in proper consumption. However, people who want a supplement high in choline are advised to search for CDP-choline and alpha-GPC supplements. These two supplements are both easier for the body to absorb.
Does Taking Choline Bitartrate Cause Any Side Effects?
Taking too much choline bitartrate can cause side effects that can be troublesome. The most common type of side effects includes a fishy body odor, excessive sweating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, the ringing of the ears, and blood pressure change. It is also worth noting that the fishy body odor is caused by unabsorbed choline in the gut.
Also, if you consume too much choline, it might result in lower blood pressure. This low blood pressure may cause some to become dizzy, disoriented, and may even result in fainting.
Additionally, excessive choline intake can cause the liver to elevate TMA and TMAO.
Those who exceed over 3,500 mg/day may start to see adverse side effects, so it is recommended that you stay under that limit.
Studies of Methotrexate in rats show that when taken with choline, a diminished nutritional status occurs, and a more significant drug opposing reaction will happen due to liver dysfunction.
This means that humans who take Methotrexate may need an increased dose of choline than those who don’t take the drug.
Choline Bitartrate Summary
The body produces choline, but not a sufficient amount on its own. People must still take a daily supplement of choline bitartrate for optimal health now and for their future health.
Diets are a great source as well, and when planned out right, diets can be the sole source for a person’s daily choline bitartrate.
True choline bitartrate deficiency is rare, but many people in the United States are still not taking the daily recommended amount.
It is something that not only adults need to monitor, but it is vital for every human starting in from before they are born.
Choline bitartrate is one of the most essential things a pregnant mother can monitor. It can affect not only their health but the health of her child.
Once the child is born, it is required that an adequate dose of choline is given in order to adequately meet the child’s needs. Healthy foods are the best option for choline-rich diets, and foods like eggs, milk, broccoli, and cauliflower are all perfect choices.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.