Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big choline test 2021. Here we present all the choline products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best choline products for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy choline products.




The most important facts

  • Choline has been sold as a dietary supplement in the USA for a long time, but it only recently conquered the market in this country.
  • It has many positive effects on the body, such as increasing liver capacity or a positive effect on fetal memory.
  • The body itself cannot cover the daily requirement of choline, especially vegetarians and vegans often suffer from choline deficiency.

The Best Choline: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a choline preparation

What is choline?

Choline is perhaps better known to most people as "vitamin B4". At least, that's what it used to be called. It also has some similarities to the B group vitamins, but the newer name "choline" is now used.

Choline can help improve your concentration and memory. (Image source: pixabay.com / kaboompics)

Choline was discovered relatively late and nutritional science was also late to recognise its relevance.

However, it is now known that choline plays an important role in the growth of nerve pathways and that it helps in the processing of fats. In the USA, choline is much better known than here in Europe.

This is the reason why it is only rarely to sporadically recommended as a food supplement here.

Chemically, choline is a monohydric alcohol. The body can only produce small amounts itself and thus cannot cover the complete requirement. The rest must therefore be supplied through food or taken as a dietary supplement.

What effect does choline have?

Choline has various functions in the human body. It also has a very broad range of effects. For example, it is important for:

  • Building / strengthening cell membranes
  • Increasing memory capacity
  • Increasing liver capacity
  • Building up the nerves and brain of the foetus
  • Communication between cells
  • Blood pressure control
  • Treatment of asthma

Particularly noteworthy is the effect of choline in liver diseases, in fetal development as well as in memory performance in humans.

In a study, the influence of choline (precursor of betaine) on the total concentration of homocysteine in plasma was investigated in adult men.

A high daily dose of choline lowers the concentration of homocysteine in plasma in healthy men with a slightly increased homocysteine concentration. Assuming that high concentrations of homocysteine promote cardiovascular diseases, the intake of choline can prevent such diseases. (1)

However, it should be mentioned here that scientists have been able to prove the connection between choline deficiency and liver diseases in the human body.

Choline makes it possible for fatty acids to be transported from the liver to the right places in the body.

If you suffer from a choline deficiency, more fat is stored in the liver because the metabolic process no longer works properly. Therefore, choline can contribute to normal liver function and fat metabolism.

Choline also plays an important role in fetal development. The foetus is supplied with choline through the mother's blood. The human placenta is - apart from nerve tissue - one tissue of a few that is able to store large amounts of choline.

The intake of choline from mothers can influence the child's cognitive abilities into adulthood. If a mother has too little choline in her body, this in turn leads to a reduced rate of cell division in parts of the brain in the foetus.

In the following study, the authors investigated the question of whether the supply of choline and the metabolite betaine via the mother's diet influences the risk of the unborn child developing a neural tube defect.

An association was found between choline intake and a reduced risk of NRD. The risk was smallest for women whose diet was rich in choline, betaine and methionine during pregnancy. (2)

One study shows that there are significant differences in the amount of choline needed. Since choline plays important roles in human metabolism, cell structure and neurotransmitter synthesis, a choline deficiency can affect diseases such as arteriosclerosis, liver disease and neurological disorders.

A too low choline level in pregnancy can lead to an increased level of homocysteine and thus to premature birth, low birth weight or pre-eclampsia (pregnancy intoxication). (3)

Choline can have a positive influence on fetal memory. This can have effects into adulthood (Image source: pixabay.com / StockSnap).

Choline is also important for memory performance. In one study, college students were given either choline or a placebo.

90 minutes after taking the choline, the students' memory performance was tested by doing learning tasks. The choline subjects performed significantly better than those who took the placebo.

Scope of application effect
Liver in the case of choline deficiency, fat is deposited in the liver, choline contributes to normal liver function
Fetal development foetus is supplied with choline via the mother's blood, can influence cognitive abilities
Memory performance choline enhances memory performance

For whom is choline suitable?

In principle, choline is suitable for everyone. But especially if you suffer from choline deficiency, you should take choline.

Symptoms that could indicate a choline deficiency include sleep disturbances, fatigue, muscle pain or high blood pressure.

However, a choline deficiency can only be diagnosed with medical help! Please do not self-diagnose here!

For healthy people without a choline deficiency, an additional intake of choline can increase memory performance, be positive when accompanying a diet or repair a choline deficiency, such as fat in the liver.

What is the correct use and dosage of choline?

It's not easy to get choline just from your diet. Especially if you are vegetarian or vegan.

The recommended daily dose of choline is 400 - 700 mg. Unfortunately, this is hardly achievable through your normal diet. You probably consume about 1/3 of this amount in your normal diet.

The rest has to be taken in food supplements.

The daily requirement of choline varies from person to person. The recommendation is "7 mg per kg and day". If you are unsure, always consult your doctor!

What are the alternatives to choline?

Many people do not want to take dietary supplements. Unfortunately, it is hardly possible to take the recommended daily dosage through diet alone.

However, if you still want to take more choline naturally, we have compiled a list of foods that contain relatively high amounts of choline:

  • Beef liver
  • Chicken liver
  • Bacon
  • Pork
  • Eggs
  • Wheat germ
  • Dried soya seeds

Many animal products contain a lot of choline, but also some vegetarian products, e.g. soy. (Image source: pixabay.com / bigfatcat)

Decision: What types of choline are there and which is the right one for you?

What distinguishes choline capsules and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Choline is mainly available in the form of capsules or tablets. It is important that you pay attention to the choline concentration, as these are often very different.

They range from 100 mg of choline per capsule to a very high 600 mg or even 800 mg. In any case, you should make sure that you do not take too high a dosage.

Also, it is often the case that a high-dose product costs less or the same as a low-dose product. So please don't be fooled into buying the cheaper version with a higher dosage.

You should take a maximum concentration of 200 mg. Higher dosages must be discussed with your doctor.

Advantages
  • Dosage can be individually adjusted
  • easily available
  • positive effects on the body
Disadvantages
  • often packaged in plastic
  • chemical product
  • difficult to find the right dosage

What distinguishes choline infusions and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Besides choline capsules, there are also choline infusions.

However, these should only be prescribed and administered by a doctor!

Choline infusions are very intensive. They are usually given two to three times a week. The dosage depends on the patient's symptoms.

Infusions can be given as a one-time treatment or as a continuous therapy.

A choline infusion should always be prescribed and carried out by a doctor. (Image source: pixabay.com / stux)

Under no circumstances should the infusion be used in the case of a heart attack, asthma or Parkinson's disease. If you are pregnant, the use of choline infusions should be carefully considered and discussed with your doctor.

Advantages
  • acts quickly and intensively
  • specialist supervision
  • positive effects on the body
Disadvantages
  • medical intervention
  • relatively expensive

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate choline preparations

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate choline preparations. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular choline product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • animal or vegetable raw materials
  • Organic label
  • Origin
  • Shelf life
  • Application
  • Dosage
  • Coating of the capsules

Animal or vegetable raw materials

Choline is produced from either animal or vegetable raw materials. However, animal choline is not absolutely necessary, as sugar production alone produces a great deal of choline.

Therefore, you should make sure that your choline product has the label "vegan" or "vegetarian", as it is not necessary to resort to animal products here.

Organic seal

If you want to take choline as a preparation in the form of capsules, it is worth checking whether the product has an organic seal.

The market for food supplements is huge, but there are already many choline products that have the organic seal.

How important organic certification is to you is, of course, up to you. However, it is worth taking a closer look!

Origin

In addition to the organic seal, it is worthwhile to look at where the product was produced. Although choline as a dietary supplement is better known in the USA than here, you can find choline products that were manufactured in Germany or Austria.

When taking choline via food, it is of course also worthwhile to check where the (mostly animal) product comes from. Regional and organic products are of course preferable.

Shelf life

If stored in a cool and dry place, choline capsules can be kept for about two years. However, always pay attention to the best-before date on the packaging.

Application

Choline is found in some foods, especially those of animal origin, but it is not possible to get the necessary amount of choline through diet.

That is why it is often recommended to take food supplements. This is usually done in the classic way by taking choline capsules.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpMh4Vrn99G/

Dosage

The daily requirement of choline varies from person to person. The recommendation is "7 mg per kg and day".

If you are unsure, you should of course consult your doctor!

Coating of the capsules

Most choline capsules are soft gel capsules that contain gelantine. This is usually gelantine from cattle.

You should therefore take this into account if you do not consume gelantine in your diet.

Trivia: Interesting facts about choline

What are the side effects of choline?

Although choline is good for the liver, a long-term intake of 3 grams per day can be harmful to the liver. It is therefore best to discuss the intake with your doctor!

If the daily dose is 7.5 grams or more, then choline has a blood pressure lowering effect. This can lead to dizziness, fainting or disorientation.

Extremely high doses (10 grams per day) can also cause profuse sweating, a lot of salivation and vomiting. A fishy smell is also reported.

For this reason, the daily dose of choline should only be increased gradually. It can make sense to take an increased dose of choline, but this should not be done without consulting a doctor.

What foods contain choline?

Most foods that contain choline are of animal origin. Meat in particular contains a relatively high amount of choline.

Meat in particular contains a lot of choline. The highest choline content is found in beef and chicken liver(Image source: pixabay.com / Free-Photos)

The following foods contain relatively high amounts of choline:

Food Choline content in mg
Beef liver 418
Chicken liver 290
Eggs 251
Pork 103
Bacon 125
Dried soya seeds 116

Image source: pixabay.com / Bru-nO

References (3)

1. Margreet R Olthof, Elizabeth J Brink, Martijn B Katan, Petra Verhoef. Choline Supplemented as Phosphatidylcholine Decreases Fasting and Postmethionine-Loading Plasma Homocysteine Concentrations in Healthy Men. Am J Clin Nutr. Jul 2005; 82 (1), 111-7.
Source

2. Gary M. Shaw, Suzan L. Carmichael, Wei Yang, Steve Selvin, Donna M. Schaffer. Periconceptional Dietary Intake of Choline and Betaine and Neural Tube Defects in Offspring. American Journal of Epidemiology. 15 July 2004; Volume 160, Issue 2, Pages 102–109.
Source

3. Steven H Zeisel , Kerry-Ann da Costa. Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Public Health. Nutr Rev. Nov 2009; 67 (11), 615-23.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
Margreet R Olthof, Elizabeth J Brink, Martijn B Katan, Petra Verhoef. Choline Supplemented as Phosphatidylcholine Decreases Fasting and Postmethionine-Loading Plasma Homocysteine Concentrations in Healthy Men. Am J Clin Nutr. Jul 2005; 82 (1), 111-7.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Gary M. Shaw, Suzan L. Carmichael, Wei Yang, Steve Selvin, Donna M. Schaffer. Periconceptional Dietary Intake of Choline and Betaine and Neural Tube Defects in Offspring. American Journal of Epidemiology. 15 July 2004; Volume 160, Issue 2, Pages 102–109.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Steven H Zeisel , Kerry-Ann da Costa. Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Public Health. Nutr Rev. Nov 2009; 67 (11), 615-23.
Go to source
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