Until recently, the importance of choline has been completely understated. In fact, it was not recognized as a required nutrient until 1998. Perhaps in part because of this, choline deficiency is super common. While it can be consumed through a diet rich in fish, vegetables, and eggs, we can take it as a supplement for an extra boost.
So here are all the deets on the best choline supplements.
Choline is an essential nutrient similar to Vitamin B. It’s a building block for acetylcholine, a primary, decision-making neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. That sounds, well, kind of important. So it’s no wonder that choline helps with various bodily functions, from aiding brain development and memory to the nervous system, improving muscle movement, and boosting metabolism.
Because choline is essential to so many everyday functions, it’s important to get your required daily dose.
Your liver produces small quantities of this nutrient, but you get most of your intake through food. In case you’re not getting enough choline through your diet, taking a supplement can keep you (and your brain) functioning at its best.
In fact, choline and similar ingredients like Alpha GPC (glycerylphosphorylcholine) are super popular in nootropic products.
Choline is crucial to our bodies’ functioning, and a deficiency can damage our liver and muscles. For example, one study showed that after going on a choline-deficient diet, over half of the men and over 75% of the postmenstrual women selected suffered a degree of liver damage.
In general, those most at risk of choline deficiency are heavy alcohol users due to alcohol’s damaging effects on the liver, as well as women who are post-menstrual or pregnant. Pregnant women may especially benefit from taking choline supplements, as this nutrient is essential for prenatal care.
For the average population, choline supplementation can improve mental clarity, memory, and overall health. However, as the benefits of choline are continuously being uncovered, substantial evidence specifically for supplementation is still lacking.
When it comes to finding the best choline supplement, products containing citicoline are the most popular. The products we selected below prove to be the most effective and popular brain food on the market. Here are our top 8 picks. All of the supplements selected are GMP certified, use high-quality ingredients, and are from trusted brands.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Double Wood Supplements only put out products of the highest quality. They’re GMP certified, and even display that testing results of each batch, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Second, it is made from high-quality citicoline, a compound chemically identical to choline. However, while choline can be created in the body, citicoline is used specifically for supplementation and proves to be effective.
Lastly, each bottle contains 60 servings, and each serving contains 300 mg of citicoline, at the best value for a non-bulk product on the market. Altogether, this is one of most affordable and highest quality products on the market, making it our top choice. They also have a money-back guarantee, are gluten-free, and soy-free.
Double Wood Supplements Phosphatidylcholine is a form of choline that’s wrapped in a phospholipid. This is the most common form of choline found in founds, so it’s more bioavailable than ordinary choline.
Double Wood shares their third-party test results of every batch, and they’re one of the most well-trusted companies in the health supplement space. And, it’s gluten-free, manufactured in the US, and has raving reviews and a money-back guarantee. Each bottle also contains 210 servings, placing it at an affordable price point. One thing to note is that this supplement contains traces of soy (so if you have a soy allergy, consider our other choices.)
This is a great option if you’re looking to buy in bulk. This Choline L-Bitartrate supplement contains both choline and bitartrate (tartaric acid). The bitartrate may help your body absorb choline quicker than if you were taking choline alone.
Pure Bulk also allows you to buy choline in powder or capsule form.
Not only is this the most affordable supplement on the list, it contains choline and inositol. Both ingredients fall under the umbrella of Vitamin B. Choline is essential for brain health and metabolism of the liver, while Inositol plays an important role in keeping your nervous system healthy. Paired together, you have a super affordable supplement that will have you feeling your best.
Natural Stacks states that their Acetylcholine Brain Food will help with cognitive functioning and memory, and they have a money-back guarantee on this claim. This product is different from the rest because it contains acetylcholine as the main ingredient, not choline. However, as I mentioned earlier in this article, choline makes acetylcholine.
This product has a great reputation, receiving only 4 and 5 stars in its reviews. It’s also made with all high-quality, organic ingredients.
Each bottle contains 60 servings, much less than the previous option.
This citicoline supplement from Jarrow Formulas checks off all the boxes of what we look for in a supplement. First, it’s a GMP Certified and USDA Organic Certified brand.
It’s also a citicoline choline product, which has its benefits as we’ve mentioned.
Lastly, each bottle contains 120 servings, and each serving contains 250 mg of citicoline (That’s a 4 month supply at a fair price point.) The only downside is the soft gel capsule is not vegan friendly, but don’t worry, we have other vegan options on this list.
This Choline Complex supplement by Pure Synergy is another one that checks all of our boxes. It’s considered a complex supplement because it’s actually made from organic foods rich in choline (vegetables and sprouts).
Not only will your body process its ingredients naturally, but the supplement also contains multiple sources of choline. In fact, one tablet contains 50% of your recommended choline intake.
It’s geared towards prenatal care, so this one’s a great pick for mothers to be (although anyone can take it.) And if that wasn’t enough- the supplement is vegan, gluten-free, and receives great reviews. Like our number four pick, each bottle contains 60 servings.
Nested Naturals promises that their Choline Bitartrate supplement counteracts the effects of brain fog, and based on their reviews, they don’t disappoint. Nested Naturals’ choline supplement is vegan and tested through a multi-step process you can view on their website. All the information provided on their product is fact-based, and with 45 servings for under $20, this supplement definitely has great value.
Last but not least, we have the Choline supplement by Country Life Vitamins on the list. This supplement is vegan and a good option for people who aren’t getting enough choline from their diet. Each bottle contains 100 servings for just under $18.00, making it the most affordable price point on our list. And even better news: it’s currently on sale for $16.00.
Although rare, overconsumption of choline can cause side effects. Some reported side effects included a fishy body odor, sweating, reduced blood pressure, and nausea accompanied with or without vomiting. Loss of bladder control may occur if consuming over 9 grams daily.
The recommended daily intake is 1 to 4 grams, though, so you would have to take roughly 9 times the recommended amount to experience these effects. In other words, it’s probably not going to happen.
So for brain-boosting effects, choline is a safe, simple, inexpensive supplement you can try. If you’re curious to learn more about another supplement that helps support our energetic bodily functions (while keeping you young), check out our list of the best nmn supplements and best glutathione supplements.