Choline has several important functions, including cell-membrane signaling, lipid transport, and methyl-group metabolism (homocysteine reduction). It also makes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which, in the brain, plays an important role in attention and memory.
A change you can make
Like methylfolate, choline acts as a methyl donor and can change gene expression. This is so important because it means you can change your phenotype or gene expression through environmental factors, such as what you eat.
Several studies demonstrated the positive
effects of prenatal and perinatal choline
on neurodevelopment (1, 2).
Requirements for choline are increased
for those with genetic variations in genes
that metabolize folate, such as the MTHFR (3, 4, 5).
(1) Folate and choline absorption and uptake: Their role in fetal development, Biochimie, 2019 Mar;158:10-19. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2018.12.002. Epub 2018 Dec 6.
(2) Combined Supplementation of Choline and Docosahexaenoic Acid during Pregnancy Enhances Neurodevelopment of Fetal Hippocampus, Neurol Res Int., 2017;2017:8748706. doi: 10.1155/2017/8748706. Epub 2017 Jan 22.
(3) Ganz, A.B.; Klatt, K.C.; Caudill, M.A. Common Genetic Variants Alter Metabolism and Influence Dietary Choline Requirements. Nutrients 2017, 9, 837.
(4) Gene response elements, genetic polymorphisms and epigenetics influence the human dietary requirement for choline, IUBMB Life, Volume59, Issue6, 2007, Pages 380-387.
(5) The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 86, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 542–548.