(NaturalNews) Choline is an important nutrient for so many bodily functions, but it is particularly helpful in keeping the liver healthy. Without this B vitamin, fats can become trapped inside the liver. There, those fats can block the metabolism, resulting in a build-up of fat that can rise to dangerous levels. This accumulation of fat can cause kidney disorders, jaundice, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. People with a deficiency of choline may find themselves with memory problems, as well.
Most people the world over do not receive an adequate intake of choline in their diets. This is particularly true of vegetarians and vegans. Pregnant women should seek to increase their intake of choline in order to lower the risk of neural tube defects and memory issues in their children.
Choline can be taken in supplement form to treat many liver disorders including cirrhosis, hepatitis, or toxic liver damage, among others. Depending upon the need, the dosage will vary. For those with liver disorders, 350 to 500 milligrams of choline should be taken three times per day. To lower cholesterol, 500 to 900 milligrams can be taken three times per day. The supplement can be taken in pill or powder form, or powdered lecithin can be used in cooking.
Of course, natural sources for any nutrient are preferred. Choline is available in organic egg yolks, organic liver, wheat germ, codfish, lecithin, and green leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach. Brazil nuts, poppy seeds, and beans are other good sources of this valuable nutrient. Included in any diet, these foods can help lower the dangerous build-up of fat in the liver, lowering the risk of liver disorders.
Of course, there are precautions that must be taken when adding any supplement to one's daily diet. People who suffer from kidney or liver disease, depression or Parkinson's disease should consult their physicians before adding choline to their diets. And everyone should be aware of possible side effects such as a fishy body odor, heavy sweating, and low blood pressure.
Generally speaking, choline is a valuable addition to the diet of anyone who feels they may be lacking in this important nutrient. For proper liver health, it can be essential.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welcome.html
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