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Many People Do Not Get Enough Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient, particularly for fetal development. A recent study has found that the majority of adults are not meeting the adequate intake levels of choline and that adequate levels can only be achieved via eating eggs or taking a supplement.


For their study, researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009–2014 datasets and pregnant women in the 2005–2014 datasets. They found that only 8% of adults met the adequate intake level for choline. Additionally, only 8.5% of pregnant women met the adequate intake level.


People who ate eggs regularly were more likely to meet the adequate intake level, but only 57.3% of egg eaters did. In comparison, only 2.4% of people who ate no eggs met the adequate intake levels of choline. Children were most likely to have adequate levels.


Researchers from George Mason University led the study. It was published on August 5, 2017, in the journal Nutrients.


Choline is essential for fetal development, with previous research suggesting that it is essential for nervous system development. As a result, the American Medical Association recently recommended that prenatal vitamins include 450 mg/day of choline.


Choline performs many of the same functions in the human body as vitamin B. It has been linked with prevention of accumulation of liver fats, helping muscles function, keeping cholesterol at a healthy level and promoting cell growth. It can be found in saltwater fish, eggs, liver, chicken, milk, cauliflower and some legumes.

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