We all know that vitamins are important to our health, but do you know which ones are the most important? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t even know what vitamin B4 is. Don’t worry, we are here to help. Vitamin B4 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in many processes in our body. Read on to learn more about this little-known nutrient and why you should include it in your diet.
Vitamin B4 or Choline: Quèsaco?
Vitamin B4, also known as choline, is an essential nutrient that plays a variety of important roles in the body. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in memory and cognition. Choline is essential for the structure and function of cell membranes. Because its mission is to control lipid metabolism and plays an important role in the development of the nervous system.
Although choline can be obtained from food sources, it is also synthesized in the liver. However, the liver’s ability to synthesize choline decreases with age, so it is important for older people to include choline-rich foods in their diet or take supplements. Because of its many functions, vitamin B4 is in the spotlight today for its various important functions in supporting iron health.
Why is vitamin B4 not as well known as its B vitamins?
While all of the B vitamins are important to human health, some are better known than others. For example, vitamin B12 is essential for metabolism and energy production. Although vitamin B6 helps regulate hormone levels. However, vitamin B4 is often overlooked despite its many benefits. Choline is involved in a variety of body processes, including liver function, nervous system development, and fat metabolism. It can also help prevent memory loss and muscle weakness.
Let’s find out the recommended daily intake of choline (vitamin B4).
- The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for choline is:
425 mg per day for adults, and the RDA increases to 550 mg per day during pregnancy and lactation.
- For children, the RDA for choline depends on age:
– 125 mg per day for children from 1 to 3 years old,
– 150 mg per day for children from 4 to 8 years old,
– 200 mg per day for children aged 9 to 13 years
– 250 mg per day for children aged 14 to 18 years.
- For adults over the age of 70, the RDA is 550 mg per day.
Where is vitamin B4 found?
- Egg yolk.
- Chicken breast.
- Legumes and nuts.
- whole milk.
- Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
- Beef liver.
Most people get enough choline through their diet; however, certain groups of people may be deficient. These include pregnant women, vegetarians and people with certain genetic disorders.
What happens if you are deficient in vitamin B4?
One of the most common symptoms of choline deficiency is fatigue. Indeed, choline is involved in energy metabolism. Without sufficient choline, cells cannot produce the ATP they need to function properly. Choline deficiency can also cause muscle weakness and cramps, as well as memory and cognitive difficulties.
In severe cases, choline deficiency can even cause organ damage. Fortunately, choline deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries where diets are generally nutritionally adequate. However, certain populations, such as pregnant women and the elderly, may be at increased risk of choline deficiency due to increased requirements. A dietary supplement rich in choline or taking a daily multivitamin can help prevent this risk.
Choline supplements are often safe; however, excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal upset and fishy body odor. The best way to ensure adequate choline intake is to eat a varied diet that includes foods rich in this nutrient.