Choline offers health benefits at every phase of life.
It is an essential nutrient for fetal development and proper child development, promotes heart and liver health, is critical to cognitive function and helps optimize sports performance.
Choline may be one of today's most under-publicized and overlooked nutrients. Although the Institute of Medicine (the public health arm of the National Academy of Sciences) recognized it as an essential nutrient back in 1998, 2013 Gallup research found that just 15 percent of Americans are aware of choline.
Data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey determined that 90 percent of the U.S. population currently does not consume adequate amounts of choline. The Adequate Intake (AI) level is 550 mg a day for men and 425 mg a day for women.
Because our consumption of foods providing the richest sources of choline—liver, eggs, and a variety of meats— has decreased in recent years, it is almost always necessary today to supplement the diet with choline. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently proposed to add choline as a permitted nutrient to be listed voluntarily on the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels. The FDA has mandated choline as an ingredient in infant formula.