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Many Americans are Not Getting Enough of the Necessary Nutrient Choline

Many Americans are Not Getting Enough of the Necessary Nutrient Choline

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Many Americans are Not Getting Enough of the Necessary Nutrient Choline
By: Steve JohnsonCC BY 2.0

Eggs are a hit and miss with a lot of the population. You either enjoy eating them, or they revolt you. If you’re part of the latter group, you might want to reconsider, because eggs are a significant source of a nutrient that Americans don’t get enough of: choline.
Choline is a nutrient that’s commonly found in eggs, as well as other foods like ground beef, cauliflower, and tofu. It’s very similar to the B-vitamin group, and as such is often linked with the B-vitamins. The positive effects of choline are only recently being discovered.

Most Americans don’t get the recommended daily intake for choline, which is 550 milligrams per day for men, and 425 milligrams per day for women. One whole egg has 112 milligrams of choline, meaning a breakfast of two scrambled eggs will give you a solid jump-start on your daily-recommended intake.

A 2008 study from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill showed that women who have a higher intake of choline have a 24 percent lower chance of developing breast cancer, when compared to women with a very low intake. That’s a significant number, high enough to suggest that women need to add more choline into their diets.

Choline is important for people of both genders and all ages, but it’s especially important for women of childbearing age. Studies have shown that choline is very important in the healthy development of brains in fetuses and infants, which is why it’s recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women up their choline intake.

But choline benefits go far beyond just healthy fetus and toddler health, which is why it’s important that men get enough choline too. Choline removes the excess cholesterol and fat from your liver. Without enough choline, fat droplets start to appear in the liver, which is called hepatosteatosis. In addition to preventing hepatosteatosis, getting enough choline can help reverse damage of the disease.

Additionally, studies have shown that getting more than the daily-recommended dose of choline can help to reduce inflammation. The things that cause inflammation, notably C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, are up to 20 percent lower amongst people who consume lots of choline.

Why don’t people get enough choline? The positive effects of the nutrient have only been discovered in the last few years, so all of this information is relatively new. The recently discovered benefits of choline have highlighted the importance of getting a well-rounded, whole diet, as other foods might contain beneficial nutrients that we still don’t know about. Regardless, getting more than the daily recommended amount of choline is important for everybody, so start eating more eggs!

Sara Fletcher is a freelance journalist currently researching concierge medicine and various nutritional topics. She enjoys cooking healthy, nutrient-rich meals for her family.

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