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New study indicates that people may need more dietary choline than previously thought

Washington, D.C. -- A new study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that the current recommended Adequate Intake (AI) for choline may, in fact, be inadequate for some people.1 Choline is an essential nutrient for normal functioning of all cells, including those involved with liver metabolism, brain and nerve function, memory, and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body.

In this depletion-repletion study, 57 adult subjects (26 men, 16 premenopausal women and 15 postmenopausal women) were fed a diet containing 550 mg of choline for 10 days, then fed less than 50 mg a day of choline for up to 42 days.

  • When deprived of the nutrient, 77 percent of men, 80 percent of postmenopausal women and 44 percent of premenopausal women developed fatty liver or muscle damage.
  • Six men (23 percent) developed these signs while consuming the initial 550 mg of daily choline, even though 550 mg is the current AI for men.
  • Nineteen percent of the subjects required as high as 825 mg of daily choline to prevent or reverse the organ dysfunction associated with the low-choline diet, an amount significantly higher than the current AI.
  • For all participants, blood homocysteine levels increased during choline depletion. Other studies have associated high homocysteine levels with heart disease.

"These study results clearly indicate that some adults, notably men and post-menopausal women, need more choline than is recommended by the current AI," says study co-author Kerry-Ann da Costa, PhD, a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "We hope these findings will aid the Institute of Medicine in refining the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) of this nutrient."

This study is the most complete study of choline requirements to date and is the first to include women. Its division of participants into two group
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Contact: Egg Nutrition Media Hotline
info@eggnutrition.org
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Edelman Public Relations
23-May-2007


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