When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to keep track of things like what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. The body needs protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water for good health. Choline plays a major part in your overall wellbeing, your mental health, energy levels, and weight loss. It’s a crucial nutrient that is naturally occurring in the right foods but most people don’t get enough of it. In this article, we’ll be looking at whether Choline helps you lose weight.

What’s Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient that is required by the body in order to protect the liver, go through the methylation cycle, and perform enzymatic interactions. Generally, Choline affects the brain, liver, and heart, thus, lack of it can cause adverse negative effects on our bodies. Also, Choline is solely responsible for activating the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, used in regulating the nervous system.

Moreover, Choline is mostly grouped as a vitamin B complex due to the similarities in functions. For example, vitamin B complex has the ability to convert food into energy, so does Choline. Symptoms of Choline deficiency include insomnia, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, nerve-muscle imbalances, and weird body odor.

Choline for Weight Loss

Choline is a reputable lipotropic, which means it helps in fat burning and liver cleansing. It’s said to control fat and cholesterol buildup in the body. In a 2014 study that involved female Taekwondo and Judo athletes, who wanted to cut on their body mass a few days before competition in order to have a competitive advantage over lighter opponents, it was found that Choline helped them to rapidly reduce body mass without side effects. Many athletes are said to adopt Choline supplementation as one of their nutritional strategies. According to the National Institutes of Health, an inadequate supply of Choline for phosphatidylcholine synthesis in the body leads to triacylglycerides accumulation, which is known to cause the fatty liver condition.

Considering that 65% of Americans are either overweight or obese, adding more Choline in your diet can make a difference. To satisfy the Choline daily recommended amount, taking multivitamins and supplements should help. What’s more, many weight loss products are now using Choline as one of their ingredients.

How Much Choline You Need?

The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for Choline isn’t known due to inadequate evidence. But the Institute of Medicine came up with the amount that one should consume in a day. The amount is intended for healthy individuals to help them avoid negative effects caused by not having enough Choline in the body like liver damage. Note that the required amount differs according to genetic makeup and gender. It can be difficult to determine the Choline required intake level because its presence in various foods isn’t known. Below is the advised adequate intake (AI) for different age groups:

  • 0 to 6 months: 125 mg per day 7 to 12 months: 150 mg per day
  • 1 to 3 years: 200 mg per day 4 to 8 years: 250 mg per day
  • 9 to 13 years: 375 mg per day
  • 14 to 19 years: 400 mg per day for ladies and 55 mg per day for men
  • Adults ladies: 425 mg per day
  • Adult men: 550 mg per day
  • Pregnant ladies: 450 mg per day
  • Breastfeeding ladies: 550 mg per day

Dietary Sources of Choline

The main sources of choline include eggs and liver, thus, for vegan and vegetarians, they should test for choline deficiency often. Also, strict vegetarians, who can’t eat eggs or liver, are at risk of Choline deficiency, and so they should consider a supplementation option. Some sources claim that those who don’t eat eggs regularly may not be having enough Choline. But not everyone eats eggs, and that’s why it’s important to be to keep track of what nutrients you don’t get regularly. Other sources of Choline include plant-based products such as broccoli, potatoes, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, nuts, whole grains and some types of beans. Know the foods rich in Choline and try to add them to your diet.

Other Benefits of Choline

  • Mental health: Choline helps with memory loss, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain disorder among others. Some refer to Choline as a ‘smart drug’ since it can improve intelligence and stimulate moods.
  • For pregnancy: Choline is used during pregnancy for muscle tissue expansion for both the mother and the baby. In the third trimester of pregnancy, mothers are advised to increase Choline intake since it’s important for brain development and inhibits neural tube defects.
  • Fitness buffs: Choline is very useful for bodybuilding, endurance, fitness routine and stamina levels. While working out, the body releases acetylcholine naturally. The levels of acetylcholine may crash or drop in the middle of an exercise leading to fatigue, weakness, and exhaustion. Therefore, when you take Choline before a workout, it replaces the acetylcholine levels enabling one to stay consistent throughout.

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