best choline supplement

Best Choline Supplement: 2021 Review and Guide

Choline is a well-known compound among supplements that offers a wide range of benefits for your health. Even though it isn’t the most popular vitamin available on the market, it’s still a vital nutrient for your body.

Most of us can get this nutrient through foods like beef, liver, and eggs. However, some people can benefit from taking choline supplements.

Choline is commonly used to provide fatty liver support, improve brain health, boost attention and memory, and improve cognitive function. With proper choline supplementation, people can experience the advantages that choline offers and improve their learning and thinking abilities and memory.

The prime candidates for this type of supplements are biohackers, elderly people, and pregnant women. The best choline supplement can also help anyone who’s looking to detoxify their liver.  

Choline Supplement Effectiveness

When it comes to meeting choline intake requirements, one of the most common concerns that people face is the effectiveness of choline supplementation. Studies have shown that choline supplements do work. However, some of them are better at improving certain aspects of mental and physical health than others.

Different types of choline are excellent for endurance and physical benefits, and when you look at them from the perspective of cognitive advancement, they’re hard to beat. 

For this reason, in this buying guide we’ll look at every type of choline in order to advise you on the limitations, strong points, and uses of each type. By using choline supplements, you’ll nourish your body with fuel to synthesize acetylcholine and metabolize choline.

Functions of Choline

Choline plays an integral part in many processes in your body. 

Some of these include:

  • A Healthy Nervous System: Choline is required to make a very important neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is involved in regulating heartbeat, muscle movement, and memory.
  • DNA Synthesis: Choline and other vitamins, such as folate and B12, help with a process that’s important for the synthesis of DNA.
  • Fat Transport and Metabolism: Choline is important for producing a substance required for removing cholesterol from your liver.
  • Cell Messaging: Choline is involved in the creation of compounds that act as cell messengers.
  • Cell Structure: Choline is needed to make fats that support a cell membrane’s structural integrity.

The Benefits of Choline

Below are a few of the benefits of choline.

Pregnancy

It’s widely recognized that adequate choline intake is very important during pregnancy. A study[1] conducted in 2019 has shown that supplementing the diet with additional choline improved the placental functioning, neurodevelopment, and cognition of the offspring, as well as protecting against metabolic and neural insults.

Choline also aids in the development of the part of the brain that regulates memory, so pregnant women that wave low choline consumption levels face a deficiency which increases the risk of neural tube birth defects affecting the spinal canal, spine, and brain.

Liver 

Choline is important because it removes fat to your liver, which prevents NAFLD, or Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. 

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects 1 in 4 people in Europe, making it the fastest growing health epidemic on the continent, and it affects 80 to 100 million Americans. Consuming adequate amounts of choline promotes the health of your liver.

A healthy liver provides detoxification for your body by removing substances that are harmful from your blood, it helps high infections, and it helps process the drinks and food we consume to store energy, minerals, and vitamins for future use.

Heart

Choline promotes a regular heartbeat and strong heart muscles by supporting the nerve impulse systems. 

Choline also helps in keeping your blood vessels and heart healthy, partially by reducing the blood pressure. If homocysteine levels in your heart rise high, it can have a negative impact on your heart, and choline helps in regulating the levels of homocysteine in the heart.  

Brain

Choline is an important part of the building blocks in the nervous system. It’s also been shown that choline has a positive impact on brain development. 

You might experience decreased memory and cognition with age if you’re not getting the recommended daily dose of choline.

Athletic Performance

In order to have optimized physical performance, it’s essential you consume enough choline. It benefits athletes in several ways, including promoting muscle recovery following repetitive motion, supporting communication with muscle fibers, and enhancing muscle performance during exercise. 

The body takes choline away from other key organs and systems when athletes are deficient in choline and the body has exhausted all of the sources of choline it has.

How to Pick the Best Choline Supplement

Not all choline supplements are the same. The choline form you choose needs to be effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier in order to get the best outcome. Below, we’ll discuss different types to consider when choosing the best choline supplement for you.

Citicoline

Citicoline is a choline form that’s superior to the other types. Products that contain citicoline are used for the benefits of regulating mood, fighting fatigue, and improving cognition. Citicoline is also used if you’re looking to protect your brain from any harmful agent.

However, due to its side effects that include diarrhea, chest pains, and insomnia, it’s not recommended for pregnant women to use.

Nootropic Stacks

When different cognitive enhancing nutrients are combined, they create nootropic stacks. The most significant advantage of this type is that it provides optimal results by combining effective cholinergic compounds. It also has more health benefits than a single ingredient. Complex stacks have many compounds, while more simple ones use two to three compounds.

Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine can be found in many different food items like mustard, soybeans, and eggs. Good phosphatidylcholine sources are foods that contain lecithin, such as eggs, while choline supplements usually use soy lecithin in their formulation. 

When used separately, lecithin is needed for nutrient absorption and emulsification and complements choline in its mechanism of transporting the fats through the bloodstream.

It’s usually used to provide cognitive assistance, help dissolve gallstones[2], keep your cholesterol in check, and assist with the proper function of your liver.

Alpha-GPC

One of the most beneficial types of choline is Alpha-GPC. It has a positive influence in improving your mood, warding off fatigue, and enhancing your memory. It’s also used by people who are looking to improve their athletic stamina, strength, and performance. 

Its nootropic value is enhanced when it’s used with other supplements, though it’s still pretty effective when it’s used as a standalone compound.

Inositol and Choline Combined

Inositol is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in foods like fruits, nuts, grains, and beans. The body is also able to produce it from the carbs that are included in your diet. It activates serotonin receptors, transports fats from the liver, and supports the integrity of cell membranes.

Its physiological roles are important for panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, as well as imbalanced cholesterol and diabetes. When inositol is combined with choline, both of them have similar effects when it comes to regulating cellular activity and building cell membranes.

Using inositol and choline combined can help you enhance the function of your brain. Generally, they’re considered safe to consume and there aren’t many drawbacks associated with using them in combination with each other.

However, it’s not recommended to use them without professional supervision and it’s not recommended that you overuse them. The reason for this is because overusing the combination of inositol and choline can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, heart disease, and nausea.

Choline Bitartrate

When it comes to choline density, choline bitartrate has the highest number. Even though this type of choline might have the most choline – more precisely a massive 41% choline content – it isn’t the most bioavailable form of choline. Choline bitartrate is typically used to improve the function of the liver.

It can also help people who are treating fatty liver disease or suffering from choline deficiencies. However, this type of choline isn’t the best for those who are looking for cognitive benefits[3]. When compared to other choline forms, the supplements that use this form of choline are the most affordable.  

Sources of Choline

The main sources of choline in the United States can be found in products that are animal based. Foods that are especially rich in choline include eggs, dairy products, fish, poultry, and meat. Certain beans and vegetables are also rich in choline, such as whole grains, seeds, and nuts. 

Besides food, choline can be taken through dietary supplements. Choline is available in supplements that contain choline, in combination with some multimineral or multivitamin products and B-complex vitamins. Usually, dietary supplements have 10 to 250 milligrams of choline in them. 

6 of the Best Choline Supplements

1. Citicoline Bestvite Cognizin 500mg

Bestvite makes a 500 mg choline supplement that uses only high-quality ingredients in its tablet. The product is non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan. The simplicity and purity of this product puts many other manufacturers to shame.

The capsules are made with the patented Cognizin brand ingredient, which has been shown through clinical trials to improve learning and memory capabilities. It also regulates cognitive function by helping maintain normal levels of acetylcholine. If you’re cooking up a smoothie or protein shake, it’s a must-have supplement to add to your meals.

Pros

  • Great choice if you need a higher dosage
  • Keeps the energy-producing centers of your brain active
  • Improves memory capabilities

Cons

  • No notable cons

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2. Nootropic Stack Supplement Alpha Brain by ONNIT

Alpha Brain is a powerful natural nootropic. With a trademarked blend of earth-grown nutrients like Huperzia Serrata, Oat Straw, Cat’s Claw, and Bacopa, Alpha Brain promotes lasting mental clarity. 

Alpha Brain has the ability to help you focus on difficult tasks, improve memory, and think clearly under stress. The ONNIT brand has been a leader on the market of nootropics for over 10 years.

The ingredients used in this product include L-Tyrosine, Alpha-GPC, AC-11 (Uncaria Tomentosa or Cat’s Claw), Phosphatidylserine, Vinpocetine, L-Theanine, Pterostilbene, Huperzia, and Bacopa Monnieri.

Pros

  • Proven by clinical studies to be effective
  • Capsules suitable for vegetarians
  • No safety concerns with long-term use of this product

Cons

  • The product is a bit pricey

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3. Phosphatidylcholine by Double Wood 1200mg

Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid with an attached choline molecule. Even though choline is defined as an essential nutrient by the FDA, the body does not produce enough choline on its own. Choline is used to produce acetylcholine, which plays an important role in many cognitive processes, including mood, fluid intelligence, and memory.

The ingredients include phosphatidylcholine 1,200 mg, glycerin, gelatin, soy, and purified water. With an ultra-clean supplement design and a potent dose, the phosphatidylcholine by Double Wood is an ideal choice for your health.

Pros

  • Potent dose
  • Helps sustain normal brain function
  • Boosts your memory

Cons

  • The shell is made from gelatin, which makes this product unsuitable for vegans.

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4. Alpha GPC Choline & Uridine 600mg Dr. Maxwell

This supplement is a powerful, soy-free combination of Uridine and Alpha GPC. Alpha GPC that is soy-free is better even for people who don’t have soy allergies since Alpha GPC from soy has harsh chemicals with unfavorable side effects. 

Dr. Maxwell’s Alpha GPC is cold-pressed from sunflowers and is gentle on the body. In addition, the absorption of Alpha GPC is increased by Uridine, which makes it even more effective.

Alpha-GPC, or Alpha-glyceryl phosphorylcholine, has been shown to improve physical and mental performance, learning, thinking skills, and memory.  

Pros

  • Users get two supplements for the price of one
  • The product doesn’t contain any inactive ingredients except the vegetable capsule
  • Improves the functioning of the nervous system and memory

Cons

  • The formula might be too strong for people sensitive to supplements and medication

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5. Choline and Inositol Now Foods

This Choline supplement contains 100 servings. The ingredients are the following: Inositol, Choline (from Choline Bitartrate), Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), and gelatin (capsule). The product doesn’t contain tree nuts, shellfish, fish, egg, milk, soy, gluten, wheat, or yeast.

As a supplement to your diet, it’s recommended that you take 1 capsule daily, preferably with meals. One capsule contains 250 milligrams of inositol and 250 milligrams of Choline (from Choline Bitartrate). This product might have natural color variation.

This Choline supplement is meant for use only in adults. If you have a medical condition, are taking medication, or are pregnant or nursing, you need to consult a physician before taking this supplement.

The product assists in fatty acid metabolism and supports heavy nerve transmission. Both inositol and choline are essential components of all cell membranes.

Ingredients: Choline 250 mg per serving, Inositol 250 mg per serving. Other ingredients: hypromellose and stearic acid. 

Pros

  • Beneficial for your liver
  • Great product for type 2 diabetes
  • Helps with anxiety

Cons

  • Some customers complained of weight gain as a side effect

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6. Choline Bitartrate 650 Mg 200 Vegetarian Capsules NusaPure


The recommended serving of this product is two capsules, and provides 267 milligrams of elemental choline per serving. The product has a natural formula, it’s gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegetarian/vegan.

This product supports a healthy metabolism, cellular health, and cognitive function. The facility it’s produced in is a cGMP-registered facility in the US which adheres to the highest standards in the industry. 

NusaPure, the company that produces this supplement, chooses ingredients that meet the strictest requirements in areas such as bioavailability, potency, and purity, in order for its customers to get the maximum possible benefits out of its product.

The ingredients in this product are Microcrystalline Cellulose Powder, Silica, Cellulose (veggie capsule), Magnesium Stearate, and Choline Bitartrate. The supplement doesn’t contain any wheat, starch, gluten, sugar, soy, sodium, salt, lactose, milk or milk derivatives, corn, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.

Ingredients: Choline Bitartrate 650 mg per serving.

Pros

  • Improves cognition 
  • Is an effective product
  • Great for preventing fatty liver disease

Cons

  • Customers complain of slow results

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Final Thoughts

Foods like eggs, poultry, fish, beef liver, and meat are the best choice for incorporating choline into your diet. However, the next best solution is using supplements. The choline supplement is widely considered to be one of the safest supplements you can use, and it’s easy to take for everyone regardless of their age and health factors.

All of the choline supplements we presented you with today have been carefully picked out. We hope that we’ve helped you in your search for the best choline supplement!

References:

[1] Hunter W. Korsmo, Xinyin Jiang, and Marie A. Caudill, Choline: Exploring the Growing Science on Its Benefits for Moms and Babies, 2019

[2] Laura K Cole, Jean E Vance, Dennis E Vance, Phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis and lipoprotein metabolism, 2011

[3] D. P. Lippelt, S. van der Kint, K. van Herk, and M. Naber, No Acute Effects of Choline Bitartrate Food Supplements on Memory in Healthy, Young, Human Adults, 2016

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