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What is choline bitartrate?
Choline bitartrate is not very popular, but it is a vitamin nonetheless and its role cannot be taken for granted. It is water-soluble and it is part of the B-complex class and the reason why most people have not heard about it is that the deficiency is rare among the general population. Those who are at risk of experiencing it are athletes, particularly those participating in endurance trials, who tend to consume large quantities of alcohol. As a result, the category is pretty slim in general.
At a physiological level, choline bitartrate is useful in 3 different processes:
- Maintains the structural integrity of the cell membranes, as well as supporting the cellular signal transmission
- Aids in acetylcholine synthesis during the cholinergic transmission
- It is part of the process called metabolite, making it an important source for the methyl groups.
On the consumer’s market, choline bitartrate is being mostly promoted in the category of “smart drugs”, designed to provide nootropic benefits or, in other words, to improve the cognitive functioning.
Choline bitartrate Benefits
The benefits linked to healthy levels of choline bitartrate are diverse and have been deeply researched over time. The most important are:
- Bodybuilding support
It is mainly used by endurance athletes, because of its capabilities of greatly reducing the fatigue threshold. In supplements, it can be found in that containing lecithin.
- Prevents neural defects in infants
It is most effective when consumed by pregnant women, which will prevent memory problems in their children, later on in life.
- Useful as an anti-inflammatory remedy
Aside from reducing the levels of inflammatory markers, choline bitartrate is also efficient in reducing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Has an important role in reducing anxiety
Several studies have concluded that anxiety can be reversed by maintaining the choline bitartrate levels within the normal charts. Whenever the levels dropped, anxiety tended to increase. It has not been found, however, any link between this vitamin and depression.
- Important in supporting cognitive processes
Even though the effects on the brain are not strictly related to its consumption, studies have shown that this B-complex vitamin is important in regulating certain cognitive functions, including memory and intelligence. Also, it has proven to support mood and there is even the suggestion that it may increase the IQ factor in infants when consumed by pregnant women.
- Useful in asthma treatment
It decreases inflammation and swelling attributed to asthma, particularly in children.
Choline bitartrate Side-effects
Overall, choline bitartrate is safe for human consumption, as long as the upper limits are not being exceeded. Regarding the exaggerated dosage, it could end up producing side effects, most relevant of them being:
- An unpleasant body odor, similar to the smell of fish
- Digestive problems, resulting in diarrhea
- Excessive sweating during the day
- Gastrointestinal cramps
- Elevated risk of contracting prostate cancer
- Potential increase in the risk of colon cancer in women, although the evidence is not enough to support the theory
Choline bitartrate Sources
For the most part, choline bitartrate can be collected from various food sources like:
- Cod fish
- Beef liver
- Wheat germ
- Milk with 1% fat
- Chicken meat
- Raw quinoa
- Kidney beans
These are only just a few and for those who need it as a supplement, it is available in lecithin products.
How much Choline bitartrate should you take?
The regular dose revolves around 200 to 600 mg per day for healthy individuals, both men, and women. In the case of asthma, the recommended dose would be between 500 and 1000 mg, 3 times per day. In the case of infants, the dose should be no more than 125 mg daily.