|Summary sheet: Choline bitartrate|
|Chemical class||Ammonium salt|
|Routes of Administration|
Choline is a chemical substance which serves as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Choline is an essential nutrient in humans, with documented roles in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, fatty liver disease and other pathologies. It is also used in the synthesis of components in cell membranes. Choline is rarely sold as a free base; it is generally combined with an acid to form a salt such as choline bitartrate for stability, or conjugated into one of the more complex forms such as citicoline.
Choline supplementation can be used in the treatment of liver disorders, hepatitis, glaucoma, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder and possibly other neurological disorders. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on those suffering from alcoholism.
When taken as a supplement, this compound has been reported to produce nootropic effects. It is easily available and commonly sold for this purpose through the use of online supplement vendors.
Choline is comprised of a quaternary ammonium group and an alcohol functional group, which are connected through an ethyl chain. Its charged cation can bind to a negative group or atom to form various salts, which can produce varying effects. Choline chloridea can form a low-melting deep eutectic solvent mixture with urea with unusual properties. The common choline bitartrate is a white crystalline powder with a melting point of 149-153 °C.
As with other salt forms, not all of the mass of a choline salt is choline. For choline bitartrate, 104.17/253.25 = 41.1% of its mass is the choline cation, the rest being the bitartrate anion. For supplements made to US labelling standards, no conversion is necessary: the amount given is for choline. The field of nutrition, for now, does not apply an analogous conversion to non-salt forms of choline such as the phospholipid forms and Alpha-GPC.
Choline and its metabolites are needed for three main physiological purposes:
- Phospholipid synthesis. Choline is required to make various phospholipids, which make up the cell membrane and signaling lipid rafts. Neural lipid rafts are receiving increasing attention in the field of psychiatry.
- Cholinergic neurotransmission, as a precursor to acetylcholine synthesis. Supplemental choline may allow acetylcholine to accumulate at higher levels than that which it otherwise would. As acetylcholine is involved in the function of memory, this could potentially account for its nootropic effects.
- Trimethylamine (betaine) production. Trimethylamine is necessary for osmoregulation. It also participates in SAM-e synthesis.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.
It is also worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.
- Stimulation - The stimulation which choline presents can be considered as primarily subtle, less than that of caffeine.
- Body odor alteration - This occurs in some populations, especially those suffering from trimethylaminuria. Choline is a precursor to trimethylamine, which some persons are not able to easily break down, often resulting in a "fishy smell."
There are currently no anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index. Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
As choline is a natural precursor to acetylcholine which is naturally found in the body, it is well tolerated and therefore unlikely to be harmful in any way. Choline is non-addictive, is not known to cause brain damage, and has an extremely low toxicity relative to dose. Similar to many other nootropics substances, there are relatively few physical side effects associated with acute choline exposure. Various studies have shown that in reasonable doses in a careful context, it presents no negative cognitive, psychiatric or toxic physical consequences of any sort.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
Tolerance and addiction potential
Choline is not habit-forming and the desire to use it can actually decrease with use. It is most often self-regulating.
Tolerance to the effects of choline are built after prolonged and repeated usage. After that, it takes about 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 14 days to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). Choline presents cross-tolerance with no other known compounds, meaning that after the consumption of choline, other psychoactive compounds will not have a reduced effect.
This legality section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or wrong information. You can help by expanding it.
- Abbott, A. P., Capper, G., Davies, D. L., Rasheed, R. K., & Tambyrajah, V. (2003). Novel solvent properties of choline chloride/urea mixtures. Chemical Communications, 99(1), 70–71. https://doi.org/10.1039/b210714g
- Behari, J., Yeh, T.-H., Krauland, L., Otruba, W., Cieply, B., Hauth, B., … Monga, S. P. S. (2010). Liver-Specific B-Catenin Knockout Mice Exhibit Defective Bile Acid and Cholesterol Homeostasis and Increased Susceptibility to Diet-Induced Steatohepatitis. The American Journal of Pathology, 176(2), 744–753. https://doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2010.090667
- Chan, K. C., So, K. fai, & Wu, E. X. (2009). Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed choline reduction in the visual cortex in an experimental model of chronic glaucoma. Experimental Eye Research, 88(1), 65–70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2008.10.002
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- Glier, M. B., Green, T. J., & Devlin, A. M. (2014). Methyl nutrients, DNA methylation, and cardiovascular disease. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 58(1), 172–182. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201200636
- Klatskin, G. (1954). the Effect of Alcohol on the Choline Requirement: Ii. Incidence of Renal Necrosis in Weanling Rats Following Short Term Ingestion of Alcohol. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 100(6), 615–627. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.100.6.615
- Nery, F. G., Stanley, J. A., Chen, H.-H., Hatch, J. P., Nicoletti, M. A., Serap Monkul, E., … Soares, J. C. (2010). Bipolar disorder comorbid with alcoholism: A 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 44(5), 278–285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.09.006
- Parnetti, L., Mignini, F., Tomassoni, D., Traini, E., & Amenta, F. (2007). Cholinergic precursors in the treatment of cognitive impairment of vascular origin: Ineffective approaches or need for re-evaluation? Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 257(1–2), 264–269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2007.01.043
- Stoll, A. L., Sachs, G. S., Cohen, B. M., Lafer, B., Christensen, J. D., & Renshaw, P. F. (1996). Choline in the treatment of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: Clinical and neurochemical findings in lithium-treated patients. Biological Psychiatry, 40(5), 382–388. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3223(95)00423-8
- Tolvanen, T., Yli-Kerttula, T., Ujula, T., Autio, A., Lehikoinen, P., Minn, H., & Roivainen, A. (2010). Biodistribution and radiation dosimetry of [11C]choline: A comparison between rat and human data. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 37(5), 874–883. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00259-009-1346-z
- Van Beek, A. H. E. A., & Claassen, J. A. H. R. (2011). The cerebrovascular role of the cholinergic neural system in Alzheimer’s disease. Behavioural Brain Research, 221(2), 537–542. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2009.12.047
- Zeisel, S. H., & Da Costa, K. A. (2009). Choline: An essential nutrient for public health. Nutrition Reviews, 67(11), 615–623. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00246.x
- Zeisel, S. H., Costa, K.-A. da (November 2009). "Choline: an essential nutrient for public health". Nutrition Reviews. 67 (11): 615–623. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00246.x. ISSN 0029-6643.
- Glier, M. B., Green, T. J., Devlin, A. M. (January 2014). "Methyl nutrients, DNA methylation, and cardiovascular disease". Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 58 (1): 172–182. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201200636. ISSN 1613-4125.
- Tolvanen, T., Yli-Kerttula, T., Ujula, T., Autio, A., Lehikoinen, P., Minn, H., Roivainen, A. (May 2010). "Biodistribution and radiation dosimetry of [11C]choline: a comparison between rat and human data". European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 37 (5): 874–883. doi:10.1007/s00259-009-1346-z. ISSN 1619-7070.
- Behari, J., Yeh, T.-H., Krauland, L., Otruba, W., Cieply, B., Hauth, B., Apte, U., Wu, T., Evans, R., Monga, S. P. S. (February 2010). "Liver-Specific β-Catenin Knockout Mice Exhibit Defective Bile Acid and Cholesterol Homeostasis and Increased Susceptibility to Diet-Induced Steatohepatitis". The American Journal of Pathology. 176 (2): 744–753. doi:10.2353/ajpath.2010.090667. ISSN 0002-9440.
- Chan, K. C., So, K., Wu, E. X. (January 2009). "Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed choline reduction in the visual cortex in an experimental model of chronic glaucoma". Experimental Eye Research. 88 (1): 65–70. doi:10.1016/j.exer.2008.10.002. ISSN 0014-4835.
- Van Beek, A. H. E. A., Claassen, J. A. H. R. (August 2011). "The cerebrovascular role of the cholinergic neural system in Alzheimer's disease". Behavioural Brain Research. 221 (2): 537–542. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2009.12.047. ISSN 0166-4328.
- Stoll, A. L., Sachs, G. S., Cohen, B. M., Lafer, B., Christensen, J. D., Renshaw, P. F. (September 1996). "Choline in the treatment of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: Clinical and neurochemical findings in lithium-treated patients". Biological Psychiatry. 40 (5): 382–388. doi:10.1016/0006-3223(95)00423-8. ISSN 0006-3223.
- Klatskin, G., Krehl, W. A. (1 December 1954). "THE EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ON THE CHOLINE REQUIREMENT". Journal of Experimental Medicine. 100 (6): 615–627. doi:10.1084/jem.100.6.615. ISSN 1540-9538.
- Nery, F. G., Stanley, J. A., Chen, H.-H., Hatch, J. P., Nicoletti, M. A., Serap Monkul, E., Lafer, B., Soares, J. C. (April 2010). "Bipolar disorder comorbid with alcoholism: A 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy study". Journal of Psychiatric Research. 44 (5): 278–285. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.09.006. ISSN 0022-3956.
- Abbott, A. P., Capper, G., Davies, D. L., Rasheed, R. K., Tambyrajah, V. (19 December 2003). "Novel solvent properties of choline chloride/urea mixturesElectronic supplementary information (ESI) available: spectroscopic data". Chemical Communications (1): 70–71. doi:10.1039/b210714g. ISSN 1359-7345.
- "Choline bitartrate". Text " C9H19NO7" ignored (help); Unknown parameter
- "USDA Database for the Choline Content of Common Foods, Release 2". USDA Ag Data Commons (in English). January 2008.
Total choline content was calculated as the sum of Cho, GPC, Pcho, Ptdcho, and SM.
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- Wray, Nathan H.; Rasenick, Mark M. (2019). "Lipid rafts in psychiatry". Advances in Pharmacology. 86: 21–45. doi:10.1016/bs.apha.2019.04.001.
- Kashyap, A. S. (1 May 2000). "Fish odour syndrome". Postgraduate Medical Journal. 76 (895): 318a–3318. doi:10.1136/pmj.76.895.318a. ISSN 0032-5473.
- BVL 2018/01/004 | https://www.bvl.bund.de/DE/Arbeitsbereiche/01_Lebensmittel/04_AntragstellerUnternehmen/07_Allgemeinverfuegungen/01_Archiv_Uebersicht/07_Nahrungsergaenzungsmittel/lm_AV_BVL-18-01-004.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=3
- United States Government Publishing Office (2017) https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=10e89c74892c74350b79d3a4e51b1338&mc=true&node=se21.2.107_1100&rgn=div8