We all know that vitamins are important for 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’re here to help. Vitamin B4 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in many processes in our body. Read on to learn more about this little-known nutrient and why you need to include it in your diet.
Vitamin B4 or Choline: Quèsaco?
Vitamin B4, also known as choline, is an essential nutrient that plays a number of important roles in the body. It is a precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in memory and cognition. Choline is essential for the structure and function of cell membranes. Its mission is to control lipid metabolism and it plays a role in the development of the nervous system.
While choline can be obtained from food sources, it is also synthesized in the liver. However, as we age, the liver’s ability to synthesize choline decreases, so it is important for older people to include choline-rich foods in their diet or take a supplement. Due to its many functions, vitamin B4 is being highlighted today for its various important functions in maintaining iron health.
Why is vitamin B4 not as well known as its B vitamin counterparts?
While all B-complex vitamins are important to human health, some are better known than others. For example, vitamin B12 is essential for metabolism and energy production. While vitamin B6 helps regulate hormone levels. However, vitamin B4 is often overlooked despite its many benefits. Choline is involved in a variety of bodily processes, including liver function, nervous system development, and fat metabolism. It can also help prevent memory decline and muscle weakness.
Let’s find out the recommended daily dose of choline (vitamin B4).
- The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for choline is:
425 mg/day for adults and the RDA increases to 550 mg/day during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- For children, the RDA of choline depends on age:
– 125 mg/day for children from 1 to 3 years old,
– 150 mg/day for children aged 4 to 8 years,
– 200 mg/day for children aged 9 to 13 years
– 250 mg/day for children aged 14 to 18 years.
- Adults over the age of 70 have an RDA of 550 mg/day.
Where is vitamin B4 found?
- Egg yolk.
- Chicken breast.
- Legumes and nuts.
- Whole milk.
- Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
- Beef liver.
Most people consume adequate amounts of choline through their diet; however, certain groups of people may be at risk of deficiency. These include pregnant women, vegetarians and people with certain genetic disorders.
What happens in case of vitamin B4 deficiency?
One of the most common symptoms of choline deficiency is fatigue. In fact, choline is involved in energy metabolism. Without sufficient choline, cells cannot produce the ATP necessary for their proper functioning. Choline deficiency can also lead to muscle weakness and spasms, as well as memory problems and cognitive difficulties.
In severe cases, choline deficiency can even lead to 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 greater risk of choline deficiency due to their increased needs. A choline-rich dietary supplement or daily multivitamin can help prevent this risk.
Choline supplements are often safe; however, excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal distress 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.