Health & Well-Being A-Z


Choline molecule

Choline is a nutrient similar to B vitamins. It can be made in the liver. It is also found in foods such as meats, fish, nuts, beans, vegetables, and eggs.

Choline is used in many chemical reactions in the body. It's important in the nervous system and for the development of normal brain functioning. Choline might also help decrease swelling and inflammation related to asthma.

People commonly use choline for memory, mental function, preventing certain birth defects, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

Is It Effective?

Effectiveness header

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly ineffective
  • Athletic performance. Taking choline by mouth does not seem to improve athletic performance or decrease tiredness during exercise.

There is interest in using choline for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is it Safe?


When taken by mouth: Choline is likely safe for most people when taken in doses below 3.5 grams daily. Taking high doses of choline is possibly unsafe. Taking doses over 3.5 grams daily might cause side effects such as sweating, a fishy body odor, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Choline is likely safe when used during pregnancy and breast-feeding in doses up to 3 grams daily for those up to 18 years of age, and 3.5 grams daily for those 19 years and older. There isn't enough reliable information to know if choline is safe to use in higher doses when pregnant or breast-feeding. It's best to stick to recommended doses.

Children: Choline is likely safe for most children when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts. Doses up to 1 gram daily for children 1-8 years of age, 2 grams daily for children 9-13 years, and 3 grams daily for children 14-18 years, are not likely to cause unwanted side effects. Taking higher doses of choline by mouth is possibly unsafe due to the increased risk of side effects.

Loss of bladder control: Taking choline in doses of 9 grams daily or more might worsen this condition.

Drug interactions


Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Taking choline with atropine might decrease the effects of atropine.

Herb interactions

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Food interactions

There are no known interactions with foods.


Choline is an essential nutrient. It's found in foods such as meats, fish, nuts, beans, vegetables, and eggs. It's recommended that adult females consume 425 mg daily, and adult males consume 550 mg daily to maintain adequate nutrition. When pregnant, 450 mg should be consumed daily, and when breast-feeding, 550 mg should be consumed daily. Recommended amounts for children depend on age.

In supplements, choline has most often been used by adults in doses of 1-3 grams by mouth daily for up to 4 months. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Other names

Bitartre de Choline, Chlorure de Choline, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Chloride, Choline Citrate, Citrate de Choline, Colina, Facteur Lipotropique, Hydroxyde de Triméthylammonium (bêta-hydroxyéthyl), Intrachol, L-Choline, Lipotropic Factor, Methylated Phosphatidylethanolamine, Trimethylethanolamine, Triméthyléthanolamine, (beta-hydroxyethyl) Trimethylammonium hydroxide.


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