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Usually when it comes to brain development for children, many people will think of the need to supplement DHA. However, DHA alone is not enough, choline is also very important to help improve brain. Not only that, choline is also good for the health of adults and pregnant women.
With Cfis.edu.vn refer to the article below to know what choline is? The role and how to supplement choline for the body.
What is choline?
Choline is a water-soluble organic compound that is a nutrient similar to vitamin B , known as a vitamin B complex (vitamin B-complex). This is an important component of nerve tissue in the brain , helping to improve brain activity, enhance memory, reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus, support energy and maintain a healthy metabolism. . This substance is found in eggs, beef, beef liver, peanuts, broccoli and cauliflower, powdered milk, …
The role of choline in health
Choline helps in the transmission of nerve signals, improves brain activity, enhances memory .
Choline can prevent fatty liver disease and other liver diseases.
In addition, choline also has the effect of preventing cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer in women and anti-inflammatory, etc.
For pregnant and lactating women
The amount of choline needed by the body of a pregnant woman is higher than that of a normal person. Pregnant women need 450mg of choline per day and breastfeeding women need 550mg.
Choline is necessary for the formation and development of the brain, nerves and cardiovascular system of the fetus, and prevents neural tube defects, spina bifida.
In addition, choline also reduces the risk of premature birth, stress, fatigue, amnesia after the mother’s birth.
Children’s brains from 1 to 2 years old develop the fastest, so it is necessary to focus on supplementing choline for children, which will help children become smarter, enhance their ability to concentrate, learn and remember later.
Choline needs of the body according to age
Adequate choline supplementation for the body is a very important thing. Different age groups have different choline requirements as follows:
- Under 1 year : 125 – 150 mg/day
- 1-3 years old: 200 mg/day
- 4 – 8 years old: 250 mg/day
- 9 – 13 years old : 375 mg/day
- 14 – 18 years : 400 mg/day (female) and 550 mg/day (male)
- Pregnant women : 450 mg/day
- Breastfeeding women : 450 mg/day
Subjects at risk of choline deficiency
Choline deficiency in the body does not happen often, but there are a few groups of subjects that are at high risk of choline deficiency to note:
- Long distance athlete .
- People who use alcohol often .
- Menopausal women: Because the hormone estrogen that supports choline production in the body decreases, the risk of choline deficiency increases.
- Pregnant women: The increased need for choline during pregnancy puts this group at risk of choline deficiency.
Food sources of choline
Eggs are considered a rich source of choline. One large egg can give you about 125mg of choline.
Beef, beef liver, peanuts, broccoli and cauliflower are foods that are high in choline.
Formula milk is a complete source of choline and is easy to use, especially for children.
Here are foods high in choline:
- 1 boiled egg contains 113mg of choline.
- 1 sweet potato contains 105mg of choline.
- 30g of chicken contains 73mg of choline.
- Half a cup of cooked soybeans contains 41mg of choline.
- Half a cup of cooked broccoli contains 24mg of choline.
Interaction of choline with organs in the body
For the human body, choline has the ability to affect many internal organs as follows:
Choline affects heart health
Research shows that adequate choline intake reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease .
Folate when combined with choline helps convert the amino acid homocysteine into methionine. A deficiency in either of these two nutrients can therefore lead to a buildup of homocysteine in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Choline affects brain health
Choline is involved in the synthesis of acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the regulation of memory, mood and thinking .
Choline is also needed for DNA synthesis, which is important for brain development, so choline intake is involved in a number of brain functions such as:
- Improves memory: Large studies have linked choline levels with blood flow to the brain to improve brain functions, including memory.
- Improves Brain Development: A study of 99 pregnant women who took 750mg of choline daily from 18 weeks of pregnancy showed a significant improvement in fetal brain development.
- Improved mental health: Some evidence suggests that choline may play a role in the development and treatment of certain mental health disorders.
Adults 50-85 years old with memory impairment, if taking 1000mg of choline per day will help improve both short-term and long-term memory.
Choline abuse warning
If too much choline is abused, it will cause some harmful side effects to the body such as: low blood pressure, sweating, body odor, diseases related to the digestive tract, ….
The daily limit of choline intake for adults is 3500mg – the highest recommended intake at which choline is unlikely to cause harm.
Some notes when supplementing with choline
Excess choline when supplemented with medication can cause body odor, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure. Ideally, you should get choline through food and milk.
Vegetarians are susceptible to choline deficiency. Therefore, attention should be paid to the combination of legumes and choline-rich vegetables in place of eggs and beef.
Newborns should be given breast milk because breast milk is a rich source of choline for babies. When the child is older, the mother should give the baby more formula to provide adequate choline.
Choline supplementation is essential for the body, especially for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children. Do not skip this food containing this important nutrient in your daily diet!
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