Natural Choline from Egg Yolk Phospholipids Is More Efficiently Absorbed Compared with Choline Bitartrate; Outcomes of A Randomized Trial in Healthy Adults.

Nutrients. 2019;11(11)

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Plain language summary

Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient. Although the liver can produce small amounts of choline, choline needs to be obtained through the diet to avoid deļ¬ciencies. The aim of this study was to evaluate choline bioavailability in healthy adults after the consumption of an egg yolk phospholipid drink and compare it to a control drink containing chemically produced choline. The study was a randomized, cross-over, double blind, controlled trial which recruited eighteen healthy adults (n = 7 men and n = 11 women) with an age range between 30 and 70 years. The two test drinks were administered in randomized order. Results showed that choline is better absorbed when it is consumed in the natural form; choline absorption was 4 times higher when compared to egg yolk phospholipid consumption with chemically produced choline. Authors conclude that their findings can be particularly relevant for the development of infant formula, supplements and functional foods. They suggest that instead of adding choline as a salt, adding choline from egg yolk phospholipids can improve choline uptake and, thereby, have a positive impact on health.


undefined: Choline is a vitamin-like essential nutrient, important throughout one's lifespan. Therefore, choline salts are added to infant formula, supplements and functional foods. However, if choline is present in a natural form, e.g. bound to phospholipids, it may be more efficiently absorbed. The study's aim was to evaluate if choline uptake is improved after consumption of an egg yolk phospholipid drink, containing 3 g of phospholipid bound choline, compared to a control drink with 3 g of choline bitartrate. We performed a randomized, double blind, cross-over trial with 18 participants. Plasma choline, betaine and dimethylglycine concentrations were determined before and up to six hours after consumption of the drinks. The plasma choline response, as determined by the incremental area under the curve, was four times higher after consumption of the egg yolk phospholipid drink compared with the control drink ( 0.01). Similar outcomes were also observed for choline's main metabolites, betaine ( 0.01) and dimethylglycine ( 0.01). Consumption of natural choline from egg yolk phospholipids improved choline absorption compared to consumption of chemically produced choline bitartrate. This information is of relevance for the food industry, instead of adding choline-salts, adding choline from egg yolk phospholipids can improve choline uptake and positively impact health.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Digestive, absorptive and microbiological
Patient Centred Factors : Triggers/Choline
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition
Functional Laboratory Testing : Blood
Bioactive Substances : Docosahexaenoic acid

Methodological quality

Jadad score : 5
Allocation concealment : Yes
Publication Type : Journal Article