What is Choline Bitartrate?
Choline bitartrate is a water-soluble nutrient that shares many roles and properties of B vitamins, particularly folic acid (vitamin B9) and cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12). Tartrate is a salt ester of tartaric acid. It is a common food additive used to enhance flavor, tartness, or sweetness of foods and beverages. Adding bitartrate to choline lowers its hygroscopicity, meaning it is less prone to absorbing water and clumping.
Choline is the active compound found in lecithin, a compound that inhibits fat buildup in the liver in animal studies. A French chemist isolated lecithin from egg yolk in 1852 and named it after the Greek work lekithos, meaning egg yolk. By 1932, researchers proved that choline was the sole reason that lecithin was able to prevent this fat buildup.
Choline most often exists in the phospholipids (fat portion) of the cell membrane as phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and the covering of nerve fibers (myelin sheath). The body requires choline to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and several phospholipids. While it is not strictly a vitamin, researchers began to suspect that choline was an essential nutrient in 1932. However, the US National Academy of Medicine didn’t recognize choline’s essential status until 1998. The human body can synthesize small quantities of choline by converting phosphatidylethanolamine into phosphatidylcholine. However, it falls far short of dietary needs to sustain health.
Choline + Eggs
Choline is inextricably linked to eggs thanks to its lecithin origins. However, it is a basic dietary component present in many fat and protein-containing foods. Organ meats, eggs (particularly the yolks), cod, dairy products, legumes, wheat germ, cruciferous vegetables, and peanuts are all excellent natural sources of choline. Vegans are at an increased risk of developing a choline deficiency, as the richest sources come from animal products.
Potential Benefits of Choline Bitartrate
Choline and Cell Structure
Choline and Inositol
is another B vitamin-like nutrient. It shares numerous properties with choline, including supporting the structure of cell membranes and nerve function. Choline synergizes with inositol to enhance these effects. The combination may help promote fat loss as well.
Choline is essential for the formation of numerous phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine, choline plasmalogen, and sphingomyelin. These fats are critical for the structural integrity of cell membranes. In humans, phosphatidylcholines account for almost half of their phospholipids. Choline also converts into betaine, an osmolyte that also protects cell integrity.
Choline, Fat Transport, and Metabolism
Choline also plays a role in methyl-group metabolism and transporting lipids. It is a lipotropic compound that helps export fat from the liver by helping the body break down fats during metabolism. The liver places fats and cholesterol into very-low-density proteins (VLDPs), a process that requires phosphatidylcholine synthesis. After assembling VLDLs, the body can secrete the fats and cholesterol out of the liver. Insufficient dietary choline can cause muscle and liver damage and contribute to fatty liver development.
Choline Supports a Healthy Nervous System
Choline helps produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a role in the central (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). In the CNS, acetylcholine supports numerous cognitive functions, including motivation, focus, arousal, learning, memory, and reward. In the PNS, it acts as a neurotransmitter within the autonomic nervous system and activates muscles. It plays an integral role in the flight-or-fight response and creates favorable conditions for rest, restoration, digestion, and procreation.
Potential Side Effects of Choline Bitartrate
Choline may cause an increase in body temperature and sweating. Nausea and loss of appetite may result from very high serving sizes. Those with poor liver function should discuss choline supplementation with a physician.
Purity and Concentrations of Choline Bitartrate
PureBulk’s choline bitartrate powder contains no fillers, additives, or anti-caking agents. Choline bitartrate molecules provide 40% choline by weight.
Bioavailability, Mixing, and Solubility of Choline Bitartrate
PureBulk’s choline bitartrate supplement is pharmaceutical-grade choline bound to tartaric acid, making it easier to absorb. The powder is soluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol.
How Should I Store It?
Store in a cool, dry area protected from light. Reseal after each use.
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