Choline is an essential vitamin-like nutrient involved in many physiological processes, including (liver) metabolism, lipid transport, cell reactions, and brain function. Choline was officially recognized as an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine in 1998.
Foods with the highest choline concentration are: chicken meat, salmon, eggs, wheat germ, and milk. Although the human body can synthesize choline itself, the amount that is produced is not sufficient to meet its essential requirements. The liver is dependent on choline to function properly by transporting liver fats, maintaining liver cell health, and normal blood concentrations of toxic compounds such as homocysteine by contributing to normal homocysteine metabolism.
Choline is needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions. Choline also plays important roles in modulating gene expression, cell membrane signalling, lipid transport and metabolism, and early brain development. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has acknowledged the following beneficial effects as a basis for health claims:
• Choline contributes to the maintenance of normal liver function
• Choline contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism
• Choline contributes to normal lipid metabolism
Vitux AS has provided a white paper about the beneficial effects of choline and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.