Choline is an essential nutrient that the body uses to maintain cognitive function. It’s found in eggs, meat and dairy products such as butter, cheese, milk and yogurt. Here are some of the best choline supplements for consumers looking to increase their levels or supplement with this vitally important micronutrient.
The “best supplement for memory” is a type of vitamin that helps with brain function. It can be found in eggs, meat, and vegetables.
Are you trying to find the greatest choline supplement? You’ve arrived to the correct location.
Choline is a potent ingredient that helps with cognitive function, DNA synthesis, and cell health. Unfortunately, the majority of individuals do not consume enough choline.
Choline is also gaining favor among nootropics users because of the many brain-boosting advantages it delivers, such as improved attention, memory, and response speed.
Continue reading to discover more about choline and our top-rated choline supplements.
What Exactly Is Choline?
Choline is a nutrient that is present in foods and was just recently designated as such in the United States. Researchers understood it was vital but didn’t consider it critical until 1998 .
Choline is unusual in that it is neither a vitamin nor a mineral, but rather a molecule present in the cell membranes of both mammals and plants. While your body may produce choline on its own, it is insufficient to maintain all of choline’s functions.
Choline is a component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps your nervous system and body communicate. It has also been demonstrated to aid in cholesterol management and the prevention of cholesterol buildup in the liver.
Choline is used by your body to make citicoline, a precursor to uridine, a DNA building component . Finally, choline is required for the production of phosphatidylcholine and other phospholipids. Every cell in your body has these substances that assist control the flow of numerous compounds and chemicals in and out of the cell, which is a very vital role .
Animal products, notably beef liver and eggs, are the richest sources of choline. Plant-based choline sources, such as soybeans and potatoes, are also available .
Despite this, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that most individuals don’t receive enough choline in their diets to properly supplement the choline generated naturally by the body . Fortunately, various additional forms are available to assist persons in meeting their choline requirements. They are :
- The most frequent and least costly form of choline is choline bitartrate. It contains 40% choline but is poorly absorbed and used by the body.
- Phosphatidylcholine: This is the kind of choline present in most foods, although it may also be purchased as a supplement.
- Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha-GPC): This supplement contains 40% choline and is popular because it can pass the blood-brain barrier, making it a very effective form .
- CDP choline (or citicoline) is a cytidine diphosphate-choline compound. Citicoline is an 18% choline precursor to uridine, one of DNA’s most fundamental components. Citicoline’s nootropic (brain-enhancing) advantages are backed up by scientific research [2, 6].
- Choline chloride: Although choline chloride supplements are available online, they are not a popular option for people. Animal feed is the most common use for choline chloride.
Choline Supplement Advantages
Choline supplementation may be a smart option for you if you believe in the significance of choline and want to experience some of its advantages for yourself (particularly if you know you’re not receiving enough via your diet). Choline supplementation has a number of well-documented advantages:
- Improved brain function: Studies demonstrate that choline (particularly citicoline) may diminish impulsivity and improve cognition, memory, speaking ability, attention, and response times, as well as reducing dementia risk. Many individuals regard choline supplements to be nootropics in their own right because of these advantages [6, 7, 8].
- Neurotransmitter manufacturing raw material: How much acetylcholine you can manufacture is influenced by your dietary choline pool. Because acetylcholine is essential for numerous body and brain activities (including muscular contraction, digestion, sweat gland function, mood, and memory), having enough choline to make it is critical [9, 10].
- Choline is a critical component of citicoline, which is a precursor to uridine, which is needed in DNA synthesis, which means that normal DNA synthesis is impossible without enough quantities of choline .
- Choline shortage has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which may cause irreversible liver damage . Choline serves to control cholesterol levels, and studies have shown that choline deficit can lead to cholesterol buildup, which can cause irreversible liver damage.
- Phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine, make up the cell membrane and regulate which substances, enzymes, chemicals, and nutrients are permitted to enter and exit the cell. Due to the breakdown of cells — which cannot retain their integrity without choline — tissue damage in the muscles and liver may begin in as little as two weeks in persons who are genuinely choline deficient .
Side Effects of Choline
According to the research, choline has no significant health risks. It hasn’t been linked to any other vitamins or drugs .
However, some people may encounter negative effects if they consume too much or too little choline, as we cover in further detail below.
Whether you develop new symptoms after taking a choline supplement, examine the contents list to determine if one of the other chemicals is causing your problems. This is only one of the many reasons why high-quality dietary supplements are so vital.
Despite the fact that proper choline levels are safe and should produce no negative effects, you should see your doctor if you have any concerns.
2022 Edition of the Best Choline Supplement
Are you ready to give a choline supplement a try? Here are our top selections for 2022, along with the reasons why we picked them.
Citicoline by Jarrow Formulas
This Jarrow Formulas citicoline is our top selection for two reasons: Jarrow Formulas is known for producing high-quality nutritional supplements, and this one is produced with Cognizin® Citicoline, a reliable, pure, and strong source of citicoline.
Each meal provides 250 mg of citicoline and 45 grams of choline – keep in mind that citicoline is 18% choline. The 120-count bottle provides 120 servings, or a four-month supply, making it an excellent value for such a high-quality product. If you want an additional boost in your cognition, you may take up to two servings each day.
It’s worth noting, however, that this supplement includes a softgel capsule manufactured from bovine gelatin, so it’s not suitable for vegans.
2. Choline Bitartrate Solgar
Although choline bitartrate isn’t the greatest supplementary form of choline on the market, it is relatively competitively priced, making it much more accessible. And this Solgar choline bitartrate is a good pick since it’s cheap, created with high-quality ingredients, and vegan-friendly.
It contains 350 mg of choline per serving, or 64% of the Daily Value (DV), and you may have up to three servings per day for a total of 1150 mg.
This choline supplement is gluten-free, soy-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, sweetener-free, artificial flavor-free, and preservative-free, making it an excellent option if you have stringent food allergies or dietary restrictions.
3. NOW Foods Choline & Inositol
Another choline product that we highly recommend is the NOW Foods Choline & Inositol. Along with choline bitartrate, this supplement contains inositol, a type of sugar that’s utilized by the brain.
Taking an inositol-fortified arginine supplement increased mood, energy, attention, response speed, and accuracy among competitive video gamers, while lowering rage levels, according to a study of 60 healthy people . Inositol has also been shown to help with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms .
This NOW Foods supplement contains 250 mg of choline (45 percent of the daily value) and 250 mg of inositol per serving. It is vegetarian-friendly and devoid of all main allergies, gluten, and yeast.
4. ProCaps Laboratories Phosphatidylcholine PC Liver & Brain
This supplement is made up of a combination of components that enhance liver and brain function.
It includes alpha-linolenic acid, stearidonic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid, three omega fatty acids that have roles in brain health, heart health, and inflammation, in addition to phosphatidylcholine, the phospholipid form of choline found in cell membranes.
Soy lecithin oil provides the phosphatidylcholine in this product. Two softgels give 60 mg of choline in one serving.
Vegans and anyone with soy allergies should avoid this product since it includes soy and gelatin.
Phosphatidylcholine (Dual Wood Supplements)
Double Wood Supplements’ phosphatidylcholine supplement contains 420 mg of phosphatidylcholine per serving. The bottle includes 210 servings, so it’s a great deal.
You may take up to two servings per day, for a total of 840 mg of phosphatidylcholine, according to the label.
However, since this product includes soy (the phosphatidylcholine is derived from soy lecithin) and gelatin, it is not suitable for vegans or those who are allergic to soy. It is, however, gluten-free.
Users of Choline Supplements and Nootropics
Choline, in our experience, pairs well with nootropics (cognition-enhancing medicines and supplements). Choline, especially in the citicoline form, is regarded a nootropic because of its wide-ranging effects on cell health and neurotransmitter synthesis.
Because choline is largely considered to be safe, with no known interactions with other supplements or drugs, many nootropics users combine it with their favorite nootropic to boost cognitive advantages.
Choline is often used with Modafinil, a prescription wakefulness aid that is also a potent nootropic that improves energy, attention, and motivation. Unfortunately, headaches are a typical adverse effect of Modafinil, and they might cause individuals to stop taking it altogether.
Taking choline, according to several anecdotal accounts from nootropics users, may significantly minimize the intensity of Modafinil headaches or perhaps eliminate them altogether. Except for a single research from the 1980s that found a relationship between low choline levels in the blood and cluster headaches , there is no evidence to support this assertion.
Acetylcholine generation requires dietary choline, and appropriate quantities of acetylcholine are required for normal brain function.
On the same note, choline supplementation has been linked to improved cognitive function in multiple studies. Citicoline supplements seem to be the most beneficial, with studies showing that they may enhance response speeds, focus, and attention, as well as memory, recall, and performance in cognitive tests [6, 7, 8].
Citicoline, in particular, is worth a look if you’re a nootropics user wanting to alter and optimize your present regimen. Another alternative worth considering is just increasing your intake of choline-rich foods. This may be as simple as adding an additional egg or two to your daily diet.
Choline Dosage Calculator
Researchers are still unsure how much choline most individuals require to operate efficiently since choline has only lately been recognized as a staple in the nutrition field.
That’s why the National Academy of Medicine created an Adequate Intake (AI) level for choline, which guarantees that most healthy individuals consume enough to prevent being deficient .
Choline has the following AI for adults:
- 550 mg/day for men
- 425 mg/day for women
- 450 mg/day if pregnant
- 550 mg/day when breastfeeding
These AIs are based on the anticipated quantity of choline that each gender and age group need to avoid liver damage caused by choline insufficiency.
It’s crucial to remember that not everyone’s choline requirements are the same. The body produces some choline naturally, and your genetics will determine how much you can manufacture on your own.
When it comes to choline, you want to make sure you’re receiving at least 100% of the AI from both food and supplementation. Consider eating extra choline-rich foods like eggs every day if you want to achieve your choline requirements organically.
If you’re worried about egg cholesterol, rest assured: new study reveals that the benefits much exceed the risks, and that eggs do not contribute to the development of heart disease .
If you decide to use choline supplements, keep to the advised dosage on the Supplement Facts label. The AI for choline is provided by most choline supplements, which range from 40% to 100%. If you take citicoline, though, you’ll need to conduct a quick math to figure out how much real choline you’re receiving. Because citicoline is around 18 percent choline, use this equation  to figure out how much is in a single dosage of citicoline:
[mg of citicoline per serving] multiplied by 0.18 equals [mg of choline].
Although citicoline seems to have the greatest nootropic advantages of any of the several forms of choline supplements, the others may still help you reach your choline requirements.
What Are the Consequences of Choline Deficiency?
True choline insufficiency is uncommon, despite the fact that most individuals do not consume enough choline to maintain their endogenous synthesis of the mineral.
Because choline is a critical component of the phospholipids that line cell membranes, a choline shortage may affect the integrity of your cell linings practically instantly, causing broad tissue damage, especially in the muscles and liver .
Furthermore, since your body can’t adequately package and dispose of cholesterol without enough choline, you may develop a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) if you’re choline deficient .
A choline deficit might theoretically damage your cognitive performance as well, since studies suggests that dietary choline consumption influences how much acetylcholine your body can produce .
As previously stated, the majority of healthy persons are not at danger of choline insufficiency. Pregnant women, those with genetic disorders that disrupt their intrinsic choline production system, and people who need IV feeding are at the greatest risk .
Is it Possible to Have Too Much Choline?
It is possible to consume too much choline. In fact, ingesting too much might result in unpleasant side effects such as excessive perspiration, excessive saliva production, low blood pressure, vomiting, and a fishy odor .
Choline poisoning may harm your liver permanently and has been related to an increased risk of heart disease.
Choline encourages the synthesis of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), which has been related to an increased risk of heart disease in various studies.
Fortunately, choline from natural sources in the diet (such as eggs) does not seem to be linked to an elevated risk of heart disease. In fact, getting too much choline from diet would be incredibly difficult. If you’re using choline supplements, though, it’s much simpler to overdose .
That is why a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for choline has been created. This is the exact maximum quantity that someone should consume in a single day before suffering negative consequences.
Choline’s UL for adults is 3,500 mg/day for all age groups. Make sure you don’t take more than this quantity of supplemental choline in addition to the choline in your diet. Who wants to be overly sweaty and stink like a fish ?
Choline Supplements | Final Word
Choline is a nutrient that is necessary for brain function, DNA synthesis, liver health, and cell integrity.
To put it another way, it’s critical.
Although real shortage is uncommon, most individuals do not consume enough choline. If you’re one of these folks, a choline supplement might help.
Jarrow Formulas Citicoline is our favorite because Jarrow Formulas and Cognizin® Citicoline are trusted brands that are associated with great quality. Furthermore, citicoline is a supplementary type of choline with clinical data supporting its cognitive advantages. In fact, citicoline is a nootropic in and of itself.
So, whether you’re a seasoned nootropics veteran or just getting started, a choline supplement might help you unlock even more potential and improve your productivity and performance.
- AM Wiedeman, SI Barr, TJ Green, Z Xu, SM Innis, DD Kitts Dietary Choline Intake Across the Life Cycle: Current State of Knowledge 10(10):1513 in Nutrients. doi:10.3390/nu10101513. Published on October 16, 2018.
- Effect of oral CDP-choline on plasma choline and uridine levels in humans, Wurtman RJ, Regan M, Ulus I, Yu L. Biochem Pharmacol 60(7):989-992, 2000. doi:10.1016/s0006-2952(00)00436-6
- The National Institutes of Health is a federally funded research organization. Choline information sheet for health professionals. Website of the Office of Dietary Supplements. July 10, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/
- Presentation; n.d. Brandes J. The pharmacology of smart pharmaceuticals.
- G. Abbiati, T. Fossati, G. Lachmann, M. Bergamaschi, and C. Castiglioni After receiving [14C]-L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, rats’ absorption, tissue distribution, and excretion of radiolabelled substances were studied. 1993;18(2):173-180 in Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. doi:10.1007/BF03188793
- SE Bruce, KB Werner, BF Preston, LM Baker. Following intake of a natural citicoline-caffeine beverage, improvements in focus, working memory, and sustained attention were seen. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition. 2014;65(8):1003-1007. doi:10.3109/09637486.2014.940286.
- MPT Ylilauri, S Voutilainen, E Lönnroos, and others The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study looked at the relationship between dietary choline consumption and the risk of incident dementia and cognitive ability. 2019;110(6):1416-1423 in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz148
- E. McGlade, A. M. Agoston, J. DiMuzio, and others The Effect of Citicoline Supplementation on Adolescent Males’ Motor Speed and Attention. 10.1177/1087054715593633 J Atten Disord. 2019;23(2):121-134.
- Chapter 11: Acetylcholine Neurotransmission, by JC Waymire. [Internet] Neuroscience Online. McGovern Medical School at UTHealth: n.d. The date was February 2021. https://nba.uth.tmc.edu/neuroscience/m/s1/chapter11.html
- Dietary augmentation of CNS neurotransmitters. Hosp Pract. 1978;13(3):71-77. doi:10.1080/21548331.1978.11707296. Wurtman RJ, Growdon JH.
- JL Tartar, D Kalman, and S Hewlings. A Prospective Study of the Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Intervention on Video Gamers’ Cognition, Mood States, and Mental Performance. 2019;11(10):2326 in Nutrients. doi:10.3390/nu11102326. Published 1 October 2019.
- Controlled trials of inositol in psychiatry, Levine J. 1997;7(2):147-155 in Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. doi:10.1016/s0924-977x(97)00409-4
- Erythrocyte choline concentrations and cluster headache, de Belleroche J, Cook GE, Das I, et al. 288(6413):268-270 in Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). doi:10.1136/bmj.288.6413.268
- Dietary Choline and Betaine and CVD Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies, Meyer KA, Shea JW. 2017;9(7):711 in Nutrients. Published on July 7, 2017. doi:10.3390/nu9070711.
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Paul Tardner is the Head Writer at IJEST.org. Paul is a former academic and research scientist. He now dedicates his time to his own research into nootropics, with a particular focus on cognitive enhancement in old age. You can learn more about Paul from his profile page.