Nutrient Information: Choline, total

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Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Choline, total
Nutrient Category: Vitamins and Other Components
Unit Name: mg
Nutrient Summary: Brain and nervous system need Choline to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. It is also required for the structural integrity of cell membranes.


Sample Foods High in:
Choline, total  ( Additional Top Food Sources )
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Beef, variety meats and by-products, liver, cooked, braised
Category: Beef Products
426 mg 100.24%
Eggs, Grade A, Large, egg whole
Category: Dairy and Egg Products
335 mg 78.82%
Crustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, cooked, moist heat (may contain additives to retain moisture)
Category: Finfish and Shellfish Products
135.4 mg 31.86%
Beef, round, bottom round, steak, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 1/8" fat, all grades, cooked, braised
Category: Beef Products
124.8 mg 29.36%
Turkey, retail parts, drumstick, meat and skin, cooked, roasted
Category: Poultry Products
113.9 mg 26.80%
Pork, shoulder, petite tender, boneless, separable lean and fat, cooked, broiled
Category: Pork Products
111.9 mg 26.33%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use Female 31-50 years old as Daily Value reference


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Nutrient Detail Information
Nutrient Summary Brain and nervous system need Choline to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. It is also required for the structural integrity of cell membranes.
Nutrient Function Choline involve cholinergic neurotransmission, it accelerates the synthesis and release of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter involved in memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions. So Choline is important for:

• Brain development
• Cognitive function (such as verbal and visual memory)
• Muscle movement
• Nerve function
• Cell signaling in the body

Choline is also a precursor for the synthesis of phospholipids for intracellular signaling and hepatic export of very low density lipoproteins, so it is important for:

• Lipid (fat) transport and metabolism
• Liver function
• Normal metabolism
• Modulating gene expression
Food Sources
Top Food Sources
• Egg yolks
• Liver, such as beef liver and chicken liver
• Shellfish and fish, such as oyster, salmon, and herring
• Meats, such as chicken breast, beef, and pork
• Nuts and seeds, such as pistachio, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts
• Beans, peas, and soy foods
• Milk, cheese
• Vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus

Lecithin: a common food additive used as an emulsifying agent in processed foods, can be added choline (phosphatidylcholine) in the diet. There is also Lecithin supplements available.

Note: human body can produce small amount of choline endogenously in the liver, but not sufficient to meet human needs.
Deficiency Health Effects There is few data exist on the effects or symptoms of inadequate dietary intake in healthy people. One study artificially induced choline deficiency in healthy men and found liver damage occurred. Low intakes of choline may develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which impair proper liver function.

Most of people in the United States intake less than the recommended amounts of choline. People who are more likely have inadequate choline status include:
• Pregnant women
• People with certain genetic alterations which impact metabolism of choline
• Patients requiring total parenteral nutrition, such as being fed intravenously
Effects if Above Upper Limit Excessive intake of choline may cause:
• Fishy body odor
• Heavy sweating and salivation
• Hypotension (low blood pressure)
• Hepatotoxicity (liver damage)
External References Learn more at:
• The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine publication: Dietary Reference Intakes
• NIH (National Institutes of Health) Article: Choline for Consumers
• NIH (National Institutes of Health) Article: Choline for Professionals



Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values Daily Value Upper Limits
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 200 mg 1,000 mg
Child 4 to 8 years old: 250 mg 1,000 mg
Male 9 to 13 years old: 375 mg 2,000 mg
Male 14 to 18 years old: 550 mg 3,000 mg
Male 19 to 30 years old: 550 mg 3,500 mg
Male 31 to 50 years old: 550 mg 3,500 mg
Male 51 to 70 years old: 550 mg 3,500 mg
Male Senior 71 or older: 550 mg 3,500 mg
Female 9 to 13 years old: 375 mg 2,000 mg
Female 14 to 18 years old: 400 mg 2,000 mg
Female 19 to 30 years old: 425 mg 3,500 mg
Female 31 to 50 years old: 425 mg 3,500 mg
Female 51 to 70 years old: 425 mg 3,500 mg
Female Senior 71 or older: 425 mg 3,500 mg
Female Pregnancy (>18): 450 mg 3,500 mg
Female Lactation (>18): 550 mg 3,500 mg
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 550 mg


Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11537
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/interactivenutritionfactslabel/
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.


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