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see vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


A compound, trimethyl-β-hydroxyethylammonium hydroxide, used by the animal organism as a precursor of acetylcholine and as a source of methyl groups. It is a strongly basic hygroscopic substance with the formula

Choline deficiency in animals is associated with fatty livers, poor growth, and renal lesions. It is a lipotropic agent. There is no direct evidence of disease in humans due to choline deficiency, although there have been suggestions that some of the liver, kidney, or pancreas pathology seen in various nutritional deficiency states may be related to choline insufficiency. Choline is found in acetylcholine, which is necessary for nerve impulse propagation, and in phospholipids.

Humans eat 50–600 mg of choline per day, but only excrete 2–4 mg. Thus, conventional tests are of no value in studying choline requirements, and no knowledge of human choline requirements exists. See Acetylcholine

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also 2-hydroxyethyltrimethylammonium hydroxide), [(CH3)3N+CH2CH2OH]OH; occurs as colorless crystals. Choline is readily soluble in water and ethyl alcohol but is insoluble in ether and benzene. It easily forms salts with strong acids, and in aqueous solution it possesses the properties of a strong base.

Choline was first obtained from bile. Widespread in living organisms, it is particularly abundant in egg yolk and in the brain, liver, kidneys, and heart muscles of animals. It is usually regarded as a vitamin of the B complex, although animals and microorganisms are able to synthesize it. Choline is a constituent of phospholipids, such as lecithin and sphingomyelin, and it functions as a donor of methyl groups in the synthesis of methionine. From choline, animals can synthesize acetylcholine, which is one of the most important transmitters of nerve impulses. Choline is a lipotropic agent—that is, it prevents serious liver disorders that may arise as a result of excess accumulations of fat in the liver.

Choline chloride is used in medicine for the treatment of liver diseases and is included in some animal feeds. It is used for analytical purposes because of its ability to form poorly soluble salts with phosphotungstic acid, chloroplatinic acid, and certain other heteropoly acids.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


C5H15O2N A basic hygroscopic substance constituting a vitamin of the B complex; used by most animals as a precursor of acetylcholine and a source of methyl groups.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Choline is critical to brain health, particularly during fetal development.
She commends the first report (EAT-Lancet) to compile a healthy food plan based on promoting environmental sustainability, but suggests the restricted intakes of whole milk, eggs and animal protein it recommends could affect choline intake.
Writing in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, she said: "Given the important physiological roles of choline and authorisation of certain health claims, it is questionable why choline has been overlooked for so long in the UK.
More and more information show that choline helps the baby's brain develop properly," said Robert Freedman, MD, professor of psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Although the effects of dietary choline and carnitine on growth performance and fat deposition in poultry were reported by many authors (Azadmanesh and Jahanian 2014; Wen et al., 2014; Xu et al., 2003; Keralapurath et al., 2010), the data regarding the effect of these lipotropic agents on hypertensive response were not given in their studies.
Following constructive EOP2 dialogue with the FDA in 4Q18, ArTara Therapeutics now intends to launch a pivotal, phase-3 study of Intravenous Choline Chloride substrate replacement for Intestinal Failure Associated Liver Disease (IFALD) in 2019.
The US team believes choline causes epigenetic changes - inherited modifications to genes - that cross generations.
Thanks to the support of Enrico Benedetti, MD, professor and head of the department of surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago, pregnant women will be offered choline supplements to support their fetuses' neurodevelopment.
Unlike other vitamins, choline can be synthesised through de novo synthesis, but the inability to synthesise a sufficient amount can cause choline deficiency, resulting in growth retardation and perosis in young chicks.
Choline is a micronutrient involved in neurotransmission and muscle contraction, and a lack of it often occurs in people over the age of 50.
However, most people don't get enough choline in their diets.
The MR spectroscopic evaluation is mainly based on the choline peak elevation and choline-creatinine ratios.