Have You Heard of this Little Known Essential Nutrient? You Might not be Getting Enough of it.

A while ago I wrote on the topic of collagen deficiency, and suggested adding bone broth to your diet as a fix for it. Then the problem of L-glutamine deficiency got me writing more about bone broth as a fix for that. After Zinc and Vitamin B12 deficiency an article caught my eye as a natural progression from B12; choline.

Why Choline? Let’s start with the natural progression thingy. Although choline isn’t really a vitamin (or mineral), it is counted in the vitamin B complex because it is a similar nutrient. I did B12 last week, so today we move onto another B, choline.


Choline Molecule
Choline Molecule

Choline is classified as an essential nutrient (and only since 1998), meaning you have to have it. Further, it’s water soluble, so you have to have it every day. You do synthesize some choline in your liver, however you don’t synthesize enough, so you have to consume it as well.

Choline is important for:

  • DNA formation
  • Cell structure and messaging
  • Nerve function
  • Metabolising fat
  • Nervous system health

Choline deficiency is linked to

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Poor memory/memory loss
  • Cognitive decline
  • Mood changes
  • Nerve damage
  • Fatty liver

Fortunately, while we don’t synthesize enough choline, we generally do get enough in our diets. More fortunately, if you are choline deficient, remedying the deficiency is usually sufficient to reverse most of the associated problems.

Even better, your risk for deficiency is probably pretty low. The most at risk groups are:

  • Pregnant women (believed to occur because the baby needs it during development)
  • Post menopausal women (estrogen helps with the synthesis of choline and estrogen drops post menopause)
  • Alcoholics (like its cousin, the B-complex)
  • High endurance athletes such as marathon runners (it gets used up during long endurance events)

Dietary sources

So, if you want to make sure you don’t run into the problem of choline deficiency, some of your better dietary sources are:

  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Cod and Salmon
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Soy, navy and garbanzo beans (you can call them chick peas, I won’t)

In short, eat healthily and you should have no problems. Okay, maybe you’ll have problems, but at least you won’t have problems with your choline levels.