90% of Americans are deficient in Choline –
Choline is an essential nutrient that is similar to B vitamins because of its role in methylation. It was formally declared an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine in 1998 because, even though the liver produces choline, it does not make enough to meet the body’s needs (1). Foods with the most choline include meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs, leaving vegetarians and vegans most at risk for choline deficiency (2). One study found that 90% of Americans are choline deficient!
Choline is crucial for many physiological processes in the body. It plays a part in brain, heart, bone, and liver health, muscle function, birth defects, and magnesium uptake. Many of these benefits stem from choline’s roles in forming phospholipids, methylation, and acetylcholine synthesis. However, its responsibilities in lipid metabolism and magnesium uptake are also imperative.