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What Is Choline Citrate?

by
author image Jessica Jacobs
Jessica Jacobs is a registered dietitian and professional writer, contributing to "Fitness Magazine" since 2003. She received a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University and an M.S. in nutrition and food sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.
What Is Choline Citrate?
White pills in a hand Photo Credit joloei/iStock/Getty Images

Choline is an organic product and an essential nutrient for your body. As an essential nutrient, you must consume it to maintain optimum health. Manufacturers combine choline with citrate to produce a supplement. Choline citrate has many purported benefits as a health supplement, including the ability to replenish choline as it depletes during pregnancy. However, scientific research does not currently support these purported benefits.

Choline

Choline is a member of the B vitamin family. It is a fatty acid found in lecithin, acetylcholine, and posphatidylcholine. Choline directly affects your brain's ability to produce neurotransmitters essential for good emotional and mental health. Choline also helps to prevent the accumulation of fats in your liver. Further, choline helps facilitate the removal of waste and toxins from your body. Breaking down fats and removing wastes from your body also helps to reduce cholesterol buildup in your blood.

Benefits

Manufacturers of choline citrate maintain that the supplement can help with chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, manufacturers recommend the supplement for athletes because choline depletes from an athlete’s body during strenuous exercise. Manufacturers also claim that choline citrate is an effective weight-loss supplement because it can help your body break down fat.

Dosage

The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements. Therefore, dose recommendations will always vary according to the manufacturer. The range of recommendation for choline citrate is 250 to 1,000 mg per day. As an unregulated health supplement, the FDA has not established a daily recommended value for choline citrate.

Precautions

Possible side effects associated with the use of choline citrate include headaches, stomach cramps, and muscle tension, which can cause symptoms such as a stiff neck. If you have ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems, consult a doctor before taking choline citrate because the supplement may increase stomach acid production. If you take choline citrate and experience any side effect, immediately discontinue it use and seek medical attention.

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