Choline for Fat Prevention?

Choline is very important in controlling fat and cholesterol buildup in the body.

Source: USDA

Choline prevents fat from accumulating in the liver; facilitates the movement of fats in the cells; helps regulate the kidneys, liver and gallbladder; is important for nerve transmission and helps improve memory.

Choline and Inflammation

For the first time, Greek researchers have found that eating a diet rich in choline and betaine, two related compounds, is linked to indicators of inflammation. The researchers looked at 3,042 men and women 18 to 89, culled from a larger study dubbed ATTICA. They found that those with the highest intakes of choline and betaine had the lowest levels of inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein, homocysteine, interleukin-6 and tumer necrosis factor.

Rich food sources of choline include eggs, wheat germ, pork, beef, cod, chicken, shrimp, salmon, oat bran, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Betaine is highest in wheat bran, wheat germ, spinach, shrimp and beets. If these are foods you, for whatever reasons, cannot eat or find difficult to incorporate into your diet, try a choline supplement (see suggestions below).

Spices and herbs that contain choline are black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, chili, ginger, mustard seed, turmeric, sage, thyme, cumin, basil, marjoram, oregano, curry, garlic, paprika, utmeg, caraway seed, chives and parsley. (Source: Nutrition Data)

Choline helps make neurotransmitters and fats in cell membranes, while betaine helps reduce homocysteine levels. These findings suggest that both may be key to reducing inflammation, now considered a stepping stone to heart disease and other chronic conditions.

Deficiency Symptoms

  • cirrhosis and fatty degeneration of the liver
  • hardening of the arteries
  • heart problems
  • high blood pressure
  • hemorrhaging kidneys

Choline and choline esters can be found in significant amounts in many foods consumed by humans; some of the choline is added during processing (especially in the preparation of infant formula).

The Institute of Medicine suggests an adequate intake of 425 milligrams a day for women, 550 for men.

Supplement with Lecithin

Choline levels may be low in many individuals, particularly as the American diet includes fewer dairy products, meats and eggs. Lecithin is a naturally occurring fatty substance found in foods like soybeans, whole grains and egg yolks. In the body, lecithin, a type of lipid needed in every living cell, is broken down into Choline, phosphate, glycerol and fatty acids.

Lecithin is a rich source of essential fatty acids and is very important because it helps the body utilize vitamins A, B, E and K. It supports cardiovascular health and proper brain function. Lecithin granules are a convenient and easy way to deliver to you the lecithin your body needs. Just sprinkle a tablespoon on your morning cereal or stir it into your favorite drink.

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