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Choline is an essential nutrient and a source of methyl groups that are needed for many steps in metabolism. The body needs choline to synthesize phospholipids vital for cell membranes. Therefore, all cells need choline to preserve their structural integrity . In addition, choline is needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions . Choline also plays important roles in modulating gene expression, cell membrane signalling, lipid transport and metabolism, and early brain development [1,2,3].
In pregnancy mothers require 450 mg/day, and in lactation 550 mg a day. This supplement is encouraged for women not meeting their choline requirements through diet (vegans, vegetarians), and for children who may have allergies, (or who don't consume eggs and or liver on a regular basis).
Approximately 90%–95% of pregnant women consume less choline than the adequate intake. Prenatal dietary supplements typically contain little if any choline.
An analysis of data from the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that the average daily choline intake from foods and beverages among children and teens is 256 mg for ages 2–19. In adults, the average daily choline intake from foods and beverages is 402 mg in men and 278 mg in women.
Many people fail to obtain adequate amounts of choline. Aging, genetic polymorphisms and estrogen deficiency may increase the demand for choline even above the AI.
Designs for Health Glycerophosphocholine (GPC) is a naturally occurring source of choline contained in small amounts in various foods (including mother’s milk) and in all human cells. GPC is a watersoluble molecule and has been proven to be a more clinically effective source of choline compared to choline or phosphatidylcholine (PC) from diet or supplements. Oral GPC is well absorbed.
Research-based Benefits of GPC Brain Function
• Improves memory, mental focus and reaction time
• Boosts acetylcholine (ACh) production and release from neurons and likely other cells
• May compensate for ACh decline due to aging, estrogen deficiency (menopause, possibly also with oral contraceptive use)
• Improves EEG patterns
• Increases production of dopamine, serotonin and GABA
• Improves mitochondrial function during ischemia/oxidative stress
• Counteracts age-dependent reduction in number of brain cells and ACh receptors
For our Fertility Clients:
Supports sperm motility. GPC is a key factor in the attachment of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) to make PC-DHA. The DHA-PC complex is used in highly active cell types, such as retinal light-sensing cells and sperm cells. DHA-PC increases membrane fluidity, which is crucial for healthy sperm function. Semen contains a high concentration of GPC; the epididymal cells that nurture sperm cells draw from a pool of GPC to synthesize PC-DHA. Lower levels of GPC and PC-DHA in the semen may increase risk for reduced sperm motility.
- Zeisel SH, Corbin KD. Choline. In: Erdman JW, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th ed. Washington, DC: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012:405-18.
- Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998.
- Zeisel SH. Choline. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. London and New York: Informa Healthcare; 2010:136-43.
- Pregnant women Approximately 90%–95% of pregnant women consume less choline than the AI.
- Prenatal dietary supplements typically contain little if any choline.U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Nutrient Intakes from Food and Beverages: Mean Amounts Consumed per Individual, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2013-2014. 2016