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Choline, Inositol, Lipoic Acid and CoQ10

Choline, Inositol, Lipoic Acid and CoQ10

Article by Don Goldberg


Choline, Inositol, Lipoic Acid and CoQ10


Choline is an essential nutrient for some animals. The human body can make choline with the help of vitamin B12, folic acid, and an amino acid called methionine, although not always in sufficient amounts to meet daily needs. Choline is not considered a vitamin, however, as no deficiency symptoms have been identified and limited evidence exists that the human body requires choline from the diet, unless the amino acid methionine and the B vitamin folic acid are low in the diet.

Choline functions in the production and transportation of fats from the liver and thus aids in the prevention of fat accumulation in this organ. Choline is also used in the formation of lecithin and in the structure of cell membranes. As a component of acetylcholine, choline is necessary for normal nerve and brain function. Levels of this nerve regulator increase in proportion to dietary in-take of choline. Pharmacological doses of choline have been experimentally used with varying success in the treatment of Huntington’s disease and tardive dyskinesia, disorders of the nervous system related to low levels of acetylcholine in brain or nerve tissue.

No recommended daily intakes or toxicity levels have been established for choline. The average daily diet supplies between 400 mg and 900 mg of choline. This amount is apparently adequate to maintain health, but should not be considered a dietary requirement.

The best dietary sources of choline are eggs, liver and other organ meats, lean meat, brewer’s (nutritional) yeast, wheatgerm, soybeans, peanuts, and green peas.


Inositol was a recognized component of food for years before it was accepted as a vitamin in 1940. Its status, however, is controversial. The body and intestinal bacteria can make inositol, but whether or not synthesis meets daily needs is unclear.

Inositol is found in the brain and nerve, muscle, skeletal, reproductive, and heart tissues. It is a component of cell membranes and functions in nerve transmission and the regulation of certain enzymes. It also might function in the manufacture, transportation, and function of fats.

Inositol deficiency in animals produces fat accumulation in the liver, nerve disorders similar to those observed in diabetics, and intestinal problems. Inositol might have a therapeutic function in the treatment of nerve disorders associated with diabetes. The metabolism of inositol is altered in chronic renal failure and multiple sclerosis, but increased dietary intake has not proven beneficial. Claims that inositol cures baldness were based on a few animal studies and have no relevance to hereditary hair loss in humans.

No deficiency or toxicity has been identified for inositol and this is unlikely as the substance is found in a variety of foods. Dietary intake averages approximately 1,000 mg a day. Inositol is added to infant noncow’s milk formulas as a preventive measure.

Lipoic Acid

Lipoic acid is a fat-soluble compound produced in the body and not considered a dietary essential for health. It is not a vitamin. Lipoic acid works with vitamin B I, vitamin B2, niacin, and pantothenic acid in the breakdown of carbohydrates, protein, and fats for energy. Dietary sources include liver and brewer’s (nutritional) yeast.

Ubiquinone (Coenzyme<