Choline for vegetarians



What is choline?

Choline is an amine that it is considered an essential nutrient for proper brain functioning.

Choline mainly resides in foods of animal origin, so it can be difficult to meet its requirements in those people who make a vegetarian diet.

Choline deficiency is also possible in people consuming too much alcohol or people who are elite athletes.

Functions of choline in our body

Choline is essential for proper neuronal function and memory, for a good development of membranes and nervous system in general (also in the fetal stage) to prevent the baby to be born prematurely, for proper muscle and bone growth.

Choline deficiency can cause infertility, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, liver problems and certain types of cancer.

A diet rich in choline may help to decrease the risk of some cancers such as breast cancer.

There is evidence that choline acts as an antiinflammatory, that it minimizes the symptoms of allergic reactions as annoying as in the case of rhinitis, or it diminishes the symptoms of anxiety. It has not been shown to to be efficient in cases of depression.

Big egg yolk
Egg yolk contains a lot of choline

Foods rich in choline

Choline is mostly found in animal foods like eggs and some fats. These foods are removed from the food supply of vegetarian people, who may not provide their body the necessary quantities.

There are some plant foods that also contain choline and that we must keep in mind if we are vegetarians to avoid unnecessary problems and avoidable diseases.

Choline intake recommendations

The choline intake recommendations are 425 mg / day for women and 550 mg / day for men.

When the needed amount is not achieved by means of our diet, there is the option of taking choline supplements.

In the following table of foods we can compare the amounts of choline in some foods, either of animal origin or from plants.

High-choline foods

Animal foods Amount of choline (mg)
Egg yolk 682
Veal kidneys 513
Fish 490
Pork 471
1 egg 211
Whole milk powder 119
Vegetable foods Amount of choline (mg)
Vegetal oil from soy lecithin 350
shiitake mushrooms 201
Soy flour 190
Soy seeds 121
Tofu fried 106
White beans 67
Almonds 52
Cauliflower 43
Wild rice 33
Spinach 20
Melon 8

punto rojo More information about problems in vegetarianism in the listing above.

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
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