Choline is a nutrient compound that is vitamin-like in its composition. It is often called vitamin B4. It received its name from the Greek word, which translates as "bile". The fact is that a certain amount of choline can be produced by the liver itself.
Functions of choline in humans
This substance was first recognized as significant to humans in the 1998 year. Vitamin B 4 (choline) has a membrane-protective property, that is, helps to preserve the cell membrane, ensuring their normal functioning. The walls of the nerve cells are moist and oily. Choline helps maintain their proper consistency. Without it, cholesterol is oxidized and forms compounds with dead cells of the protein. This leads to the formation of seals: the nerve cell does not receive the necessary nutrients and dies. An important property of choline is lowering cholesterol in the blood. It also has a positive effect on the nervous system, providing an antidepressant effect: in the process of metabolism of choline, fibers with the ability to transmit nerve impulses are obtained. At the right time, the mechanisms work and hormones are produced that positively affect the performance of the brain and the general condition of the person.
Products containing vitamin B4
The greatest amount of this substance is found in egg yolk. Choline is a part of lipoproteins (therefore, it is found in large amounts in oils). So, peanut butter, animal liver has a high content of choline. There is it in dairy products (in particular, in cheese and cottage cheese).
And now let's briefly consider the question of what is the beneficial effect of choline on the human body.
The cardiovascular system
Choline well balances the amount of harmful and beneficial cholesterol in the human body, tipping the scales on the side of the second. Because of this, it is a good tool in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
This vitamin has a relaxing and soothing effect. Choline allows you to deal with signs of depression. The fact is that it prevents the destruction of the protective sheath of nerve cells (myelin). This allows the nervous system to stay in order for a long time. Doctors also note that choline activates the brain and improves memory. Experiments have shown that after the application of choline by a group of subjects, their memory and acumen improved. There is also a positive effect of choline on the fetus. Being in the womb, the child can not produce choline. However, this substance contributes to the formation of higher mental abilities.
Choline is a good hepatoprotector. It allows liver cells to recover faster after various toxic effects, including alcohol and drugs. In addition, choline prevents the formation of gallstones and excessive formation of bile. The undoubted advantage of choline is its ability to dissolve fats with enzymes. It helps to avoid liver dystrophy in obesity and can help in losing weight. Also, thanks to vitamin B4, fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, K) are better absorbed in the human body.
Choline is one of the substances involved in human reproduction. It increases the activity of sperm. In addition, choline reduces the risk of inflammation of the prostate gland.
Preparations containing choline
In pharmacies, you can find a number of items whose active ingredient is choline. First of all, these are such drugs as "Choline Chloride", "Choline Alphocerate", as well as "Choline-Borimed", "Cerepro", "Gliatelin". Each of these drugs has its own direction. Thus, the drug "Choline chloride" is prescribed for acute and chronic liver diseases, alcoholism or injuries. The drug "Choline alfostserat" and its analogues ("Cerepro" and "Gliatelin") are neuroleptics and are prescribed for brain injuries. To replenish the required amount of choline in a healthy body, you can simply ask the pharmacy to give Vitamin B4 (for example, Vitrum Beauty, Duovit Memo, where the B4 vitamin content is enough to fill your daily need). Choline is also prescribed for children. Daily need for an adult - 5-6 g, for a child - 4 g.
Getting through the stomach, choline begins to be absorbed in the intestine throughout its length. Then, with the help of other substances, most often lecithin, it enters the blood and liver. As noted above, choline is a substance that can be synthesized in the body itself. It occurs through amino acids and natural metabolism.
Signs of hypovitaminosis
By the following features, you can determine the lack of choline in your body:
- irritability and excessive fatigue;
- sometimes insomnia, depression, apathy;
- pain in the liver, its wrong work;
- sharp weight gain;
- bouts of gastritis, heartburn, diarrhea after fatty foods;
- in children, growth retardation;
- often tinnitus, headaches;
- blood circulation is disturbed;
Features of the substance and the consequences of its lack
It should be said that mother's milk contains the daily rate of choline, which is necessary for an adult. The fact is that the baby’s brain develops very intensively, and vitamin B4 contributes to its normal development. New and new brain cells and nerve appendages are being formed, and choline is the most important building material for the brain. Scientists arguing about whether the nerve cells are restored in an adult are increasingly inclined to say that choline can help them reborn. All that is needed is proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and foods containing large amounts of vitamin B4. Lack of choline in the body can lead to serious consequences. These include Alzheimer's disease, which is manifested in the elderly. It is accompanied by loss of memory and personality disorder. The researchers note that soon most of the elderly will be exposed to it.