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Choline is a essential nutrient compound often grouped with the vitamin B-complex, but not yet considered an official vitamin B. It is present in the cell membranes and plays a major role in the nervous system. It is also important for maintaining appropriate levels of cholesterol in the liver. Choline works together with the B vitamins to process fat. Choline is the parent molecule to acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter needed for brain and memory function.

Among other problems, choline deficiency can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, difficulty in digesting fats, degeneration of the liver, and gastric ulcers.

Major food sources of choline include egg yolks and soy, and chicken, turkey, veal, and beef livers.

Health benefits of choline

  • Important for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system
  • Needed to maintain healthy liver
  • Needed to maintain levels of cholesterol
  • Needed for memory function
  • Assists in the production of acetylcholine


RDI/AI—550 mg per day
UL—3500 mg per day


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Principal Author: M. Ofiyeva
Date of Initial Publication: 07/05/2007
Article Last Updated: 03/10/2011