Choline and human nutrition

Annu Rev Nutr. 1994:14:269-96. doi: 10.1146/


Choline is crucial for sustaining life. It modulates the basic signaling processes within cells, is a structural element in membranes, and is vital during critical periods in brain development. Choline metabolism is closely interrelated with the metabolism of methionine and folate. We believe that the normal human diet provides sufficient choline to sustain healthy organ function. However, vulnerable populations may become choline deficient, including the growing infant, the pregnant or lactating woman, the cirrhotic, and the patient fed intravenously. Further studies of choline requirements in these groups are required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / physiology
  • Choline Deficiency
  • Choline* / administration & dosage
  • Choline* / metabolism
  • Choline* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Phospholipids / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Phospholipids
  • Choline