Choline Bitartrate is a choline supplement that may have the ability to help you think faster, improve memory, focus and overall mood.
What is Choline?
Choline Bitartrate (choline supplements) are similar to vitamin B complex. Choline is an essential nutrient needed to keep the cells and nerves healthy.
In the brain, it promotes the health and maintenance of cell membranes and aids in the production of Acetylcholine, an important chemical messenger with a key role in memory and proper cognition.
The body can make it in very small amounts and through dietary consumption of beef, egg yolks, fish, liver and cauliflower. However, it is noted that deficiencies are very common and can cause fatigue, low energy levels, insomnia, memory issues, unstable moods, anxiety, difficulty in processes thoughts, muscle problems and in extreme cases, liver damage.
The brain needs Choline to help you think faster and clearer and to maintain healthy brain cells. The result of this nutrient, is thought to provide a slew of cognitive benefits including improved short-term and long-term memory, focus, concentration and learning.
It also is associated with reducing headaches, promoting REM sleep, reducing fatigue and boosting mood. Another bonus, it also may help you lose weight.
Higher quality choline supplements include Alpha GPC and Citicoline (CDP Choline). Choline supplements have mixed results in human studies but these two have been suggested to show more positive effects. These are a little more costly than Choline Bitartrate but are much more effective in reaching the brain and raising acetylcholine levels.
Benefits of Choline for the Brain
Choline Bitartrate (the combination of choline and salt bitartrate) and all choline supplements primary function, is to aid in raising Acetylcholine levels in the brain.
This is an important neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals between the neurons, which is crucial for our moods, memory capabilities, learning and attention. It is also a chemical needed to activate muscles.
Supplementing choline is especially important later in life when acetylcholine levels in the brain are naturally lower. A lowered level of Acetylcholine slows down our general reaction time. We can lose our train of thought, we can’t think as fast, we can’t remember things and it is hard to find our words.
Also, it is suggested that the choline sources we consume in foods do not get fully absorbed in our body and this prevents it from reaching the brain. In some cases, the amount is considered not sufficient for our daily needs and required brain activity. With all these potential factors, it is estimated that 90% of people have a choline deficiency.
Finally, Choline supplementation is believed to promote neuron plasticity. Synapses are junctions between the nerve cells that can strengthen or weaken over time. This process helps them adjust and strengthen to form new connections between neurons, which is where memories are stored. As we age, fewer connections are formed.
It is also important to develop healthy brain cells and to keep them healthy by strengthening the signals, maintaining their structure and improving fluidity.
Supplementing choline, is thought to improve intellect and brain health. Studies have shown that this nutrient can help you remember things more easily and sharpen your mind.
Choline supplementation is also suggested to aid in age related memory decline and improve the ability to think faster. It is even thought to help with symptoms related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Other Choline Uses
It is suggested that Choline helps burn fat by promoting lipolysis. This a process that transports fats to cells so that they can be burned through our energy source. This flush process is crucial for a healthy liver, reducing fat build up and also maintaining a healthy weight.
Normally, the first energy source target would be taken from glucose, sugar in the body, to give us energy. Taking choline supplements promote the source of energy we need to be taken from fat instead glucose. This may be due to its potential role in aiding the break down of fat cells and making them available to use as energy.
This may be beneficial in promoting effective exercise. Choline is thought to burn fat at a faster rate, hence reducing body fat percentages.
From a body perspective, a choline deficiency can cause difficulties exercising, lowered energy levels and lack of motivation. We try to compensate with fatty foods to raise our energy level. This is why many athletes take choline supplements to combat fatigue.
Finally, according to research, Choline as a natural medicine has shown to be helpful with liver disease which may be due to the flush process. It also has shown to lessen the frequency of asthma attacks and allergies.
Why Take Choline Supplements? They promote;
- Better memory capabilities
- May improve learning capabilities
- Improves mental energy and reduces fatigue
- Ability to think faster and improve general response time
- Improve concentration and focus
- Improve verbal communication
- REM sleep
- Boosts mood
- Prevents headaches
- Reduces symptoms of ADD and ADHD
Side Effects of Choline
When taking within the proper dosages, it is considered a safe nutrient and side effects are rare. The FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) rates it as status GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) when used for it’s intended use.
Staying within the daily recommended dosage is important since side effects are associated with over usage. Reported side effects include;
- Low/high blood pressure
- Excessive perspiration
- Appetite suppression
Recommended Choline Dosages
The most common dosage is between 300mg-500mg per day. Do not exceed 3.5 grams per day. This amount is considered unsafe.
For people with liver, kidney or Parkinson’s disease, high doses of choline are not recommended.
It is considered likely safe up to 1 gram per day for children. Older children can take up to 2 grams per day.
These are just guidelines, please consult your doctor first if you have any concerns.