What Is the Connection between Choline and Methionine?

B. Koch

Choline and methionine are lipotropic nutrients that help the liver to process fats. Both of these nutrients are essential to human life and are provided by diet. Cheese, eggs, and nuts are all good sources of both choline and methionine.

Salmon naturally contains methionine.
Salmon naturally contains methionine.

The most pressing condition that lipotropic nutrients such as choline and methionine work to prevent is that of a fatty liver. Lipotropic nutrients help the liver to metabolize fats more effectively, allowing it to get rid of excess fat. The most effective and widely available lipotropic nutrients include choline and methionine as well as inositol.

Kidney beans are a good source of methionine.
Kidney beans are a good source of methionine.

A fatty liver is sometimes the result of excessive alcohol consumption but can also occur in individuals who rarely or never drink but have poor fat metabolism. Since the liver is involved in fat metabolism, too much fat can prevent the liver from processing fats quickly enough, creating a fatty liver. Although most common in obese individuals, a fatty liver due to poor fat metabolism may be found in any individual with an unhealthy diet that contains too many carbohydrates, sugars, and fats and not enough lipotropic nutrients.

A member of the B vitamin family, Choline is an essential nutrient, meaning it is necessary to the body's functioning and must be obtained through diet or supplements. Choline is thought to improve memory and reduce cholesterol. It is sometimes used by athletes to increase speed and reduce fatigue. The recommended daily dosage is 425 milligrams for women and 550 milligrams for men.

Like choline, methionine is another essential nutrient. Methionine is believed to work as an antidepressant and is also a very strong antioxidant. The daily recommended dosage for adults is 800 to 1,000 milligrams, but it must be remembered that methionine should always be taken with a B vitamin supplement, as taking methionine alone may increase the risk of heart disease.

Overall, choline and methionine are safe with few serious side effects. Choline may cause chest pain and difficulty breathing — but this is rare — rash, or stomach upset. As long as methionine is consumed with B vitamins, side effects are rare and include nausea, irritability, or drowsiness.

There are a number of foods that can be consumed to increase the levels of choline and methionine in the body. Cheeses contain these nutrients, yet both these substances together are rarely found in one cheese alone. American cheese contains a significant amount of choline, while parmesan cheese is a good source of methionine. Eggs are a particularly rich in choline, while brazil nuts are a good source of methionine.

Parmesan cheese is a good source of methionine.
Parmesan cheese is a good source of methionine.

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