Choline Could Be A Key Nutrient You’re Missing, Dr. Joanna McMillan Explains Why We Need It

Choline is an essential nutrient that is made in the liver. However, our bodies cannot produce enough to meet our daily needs, so it must be supplied by the foods we eat, such as eggs.

Until recently, the role of choline as part of a balanced diet was largely overlooked.

Research has shown us that choline plays an important role in brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy, and it’s even been linked to childhood cognition and cognitive well-being in older adults as well. .

READ MORE: Why a plant-rich diet is better for you and the planet

Most of us do not meet our daily choline needs, so it must be provided through the diet. (Stock)

Basically, if we were to break it down, choline has three main functions in our body:

  1. To help us create healthy cells
  2. To help us with our liver function and the transport of cholesterol in our body
  3. To help us with muscle control, memory, concentration and heart rate regulation.

How much choline should an adult have daily/weekly?

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that adults get about 550 mg per day for men and 425 mg per day for women.

For pregnant women, the recommended amount increases to 440 mg. Given its role in the development of a healthy brain and nervous system, choline is especially important during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

To quantify this, one large egg contains 164mg, or about 30-38% of the recommended adequate intake for adults, so two eggs a day for breakfast puts you in a good position to hit your recommended daily amount!

Choline is especially important during pregnancy and lactation. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Why do you think people don’t have enough?

Australian and international studies are increasing our awareness and understanding of choline, an essential nutrient, but many people still don’t know what it is or why it is so important to our health.

This could be because, although choline is essential for normal health, it is not technically a vitamin due to its similarity in function to the B vitamins, so it is usually grouped with them.

It’s important to understand the role it plays in our overall health, so you can consider incorporating choline-containing foods, like eggs, into a daily, balanced diet.

What other foods, including eggs, can we eat to get more

Eggs provide some of the highest amounts of choline of any food – so they’re definitely a good option if you’re looking to up your intake!

Choline can also be found in foods such as meat, fish, and milk, as well as some green vegetables and whole grains. Other foods that contain choline include beef or chicken liver, fish, and shellfish, including cod, salmon, and tuna. chicken and red meat, tofu, quinoa and vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli.

dozen eggs egg carton farm chickens boiled eggs
Eggs provide some of the highest amounts of choline of any food. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Any other tips for achieving choline goals and why it’s so important

Reaching choline targets is especially important during pregnancy. Choline is an essential micronutrient that plays an important role in maintaining health throughout pregnancy and lactation.

Choline is needed to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in muscle control, cognition (including many aspects of brain function such as memory), and mood during pregnancy.

It has also been recognized as one of six key nutrients important for fetal brain development along with folate, iodine, iron, vitamin D and omega-3 DHA, all of which can be found in eggs. .

Eggs are perfectly safe to eat during pregnancy, if cooked properly according to food safety advice. Thanks to their nutrient density, eggs are an excellent food choice during pregnancy to help meet the additional nutritional needs of both mother and baby during this time of life.

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