Choline is an organic compound. It is the precursor molecule (~building block) for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control.

Other names 2-Hydroxy-N,N,N-trimethylethanaminium
CAS number 62-49-7
PubChem 6209
DrugBank DB00122
KEGG C00114
Beilstein Reference 1736748
Gmelin Reference 324597
Molecular formula C5H14NO+
Molar mass 104.17080
Density 1.09 g/ml
Boiling point
Solubility in water 500 mg/ml
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Some animals cannot produce choline, but must have it in their diet to stay healthy. Humans make a small amount of choline in the liver. In the United States, choline is recommended as an essential nutrient after research showed that humans need to get it. They need to have choline in their diet or take a supplementation for proper health.[1][2] Possible benefits include reducing the risk of neural tube defects and fatty liver disease. It has also been found that intake of choline during pregnancy can have long-term beneficial effects on memory for the child.[2]

Choline is usually grouped with the Vitamin B complex. It is a vitamin that is needed by the human body. Adults should take between 425 and 550 milligrams of it daily. Choline is used by the body in the walls of cells and as a neurotransmitter. It also helps to prevent heart disease. There are claims that it helps reduce body fat, but this has not been proven.


Choline was discovered by Andreas Strecker in 1864. In 1998 choline was classified as an needed nutrient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (USA).[3][4][5]

Choline Media


Sources of Choline are egg yolks, soy and cooked beef, chicken, veal and turkey (bird) livers. Many foods contain small amounts of choline, even iceberg lettuce.


  1. "Choline". Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. February 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zeisel SH; da Costa KA (November 2009). "Choline: an essential nutrient for public health". Nutrition Reviews. 67 (11): 615–23. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00246.x. PMC 2782876. PMID 19906248.
  3. Jane Higdon, "Choline", Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute
  4. "Choline, PDRHealth
  5. "Choline" (An interview with Steven Zeisel, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry), Radio National Health Report with Norman Swan, Monday 17 April 2000