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Choline is an essential nutrient, which must be consumed in the diet, because humans can only synthesize small amounts. Most choline is found in phospholipids especially in phosphatidyl choline (lecithin).
Choline is important for the structural integrity of cell membranes, for cell-
Rich sources of choline are beef liver, whole eggs, beef meat, cauliflower, navy beans, fish, nuts, peas, spinach, milk and wheat germ. Lecithin is also a good source of choline. Here is a list of foods having the highest content of choline.
The recommended intake is 550 mg per day for males and 425 mg per day for females. Pregnant females should take at least 450 mg and lactating females should take 550 mg per day.
If you are deficient in choline you should take considerably more. The maximum safe intake of choline intake has been set at 3.5 g/day.
Choline deficiency does not happen easily. If it occurs it may lead to fatty liver, raised cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and kidney problems, inability to digest fats, stunted growth, and impaired memory and brain function.
Taking too much choline could cause fishy body odor, nausea and depression. It could trigger existing epilepsy. Hypotension, sweating, salivation and diarrhea have also been reported.
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