How we pick our products
Welcome to our big choline test 2022. 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.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The best Choline: Our Picks
- 3 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a choline preparation
- 4 Decision: What types of choline are there and which is the right one for you?
- 5 Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate choline preparations
- 6 Trivia: Interesting facts about choline
- 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 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?
- 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 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?
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?
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?
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
- Wheat germ
- Dried soya seeds
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.
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.
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.
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
- Shelf life
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following foods contain relatively high amounts of choline:
|Food||Choline content in mg|
|Dried soya seeds||116|
Image source: pixabay.com / Bru-nO
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.
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.
Steven H Zeisel , Kerry-Ann da Costa. Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Public Health. Nutr Rev. Nov 2009; 67 (11), 615-23.