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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: USDA Database for the Choline Content of Common Foods, Release Two

Authors
item Patterson, Kristine
item Bhagwat, Seema
item Williams, Juhi - JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV
item Howe, Juliette
item Holden, Joanne

Submitted to: Home Page
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2008
Publication Date: December 31, 2007
Repository URL: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata
Citation: Patterson, K.K., Bhagwat, S.A., Williams, J., Howe, J.C., Holden, J.M. 2007. USDA database for the choline content of common foods, release two. NDL Home Page. Available: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata

Interpretive Summary: Choline (Cho) and its metabolites, glycerophosphocholine (GPC), phosphocholine (Pcho), phosphatidylcholine (Ptdcho), and sphingomyelin (SM) are important for cell and nervous system function. These forms of choline are summed to give total choline. Another derivative of choline, betaine, has different physiological functions and is not included in total choline values since the conversion of choline to betaine in the body is irreversible. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has recommended an Adequate Intake (AI) of 550 mg of total choline per day for men and 425 mg per day for women, based on estimated dietary intakes in the U.S. Prior to the 2004 release of the “Choline Database” by the Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), there was a limited amount of data on the choline content of foods available to researchers and the public. With this second release of the database, the number of foods has been expanded from 434 foods to more than 630. Most of these food samples were obtained through the USDA National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program and are nationally representative. The samples were analyzed by the collaborators at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. The database contains values for the individual compounds mentioned above as well as betaine and total choline, and are reported in mg per 100g of food. All the data have been evaluated for quality using the data quality evaluation system developed by the NDL scientists, and confidence codes, the indicators of relative data quality and the reliability of a given mean, have been assigned to each of the total choline values. The database is released on the NDL's web site, www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata and will be useful for health related studies, policy review, and for healthy individuals as well as for individuals with the genetic disorder trimethylaminuria, who must avoid high intakes of choline.

Technical Abstract: Research has shown that choline is important for the synthesis of phospholipids in cell membranes, methyl metabolism, acetylcholine synthesis, and cholinergic neurotransmission in humans. Betaine, a choline derivative, is also important because of its role in the donation of methyl groups to homocysteine to form methionine. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has made recommendations for choline intake, estimating an Adequate Intake (AI) at 550 mg per day for men and 425 mg per day for women. Part of the U.S. population, about one percent, suffers from the genetic disorder trimethylaminuria, and must limit the intake of total choline to prevent developing fishy body odor. Prior to the first edition of the “Choline Database” by the Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in 2004, there was a limited amount of data on the choline content of foods available to researchers and the public. With this second release of the database, the number of foods has been expanded from 434 foods to more than 630. Like the previous release of the database, most of the samples for the project were obtained nationally from 12-24 retail outlets in accordance with the national sampling plan developed for the USDA National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program. Approximately, 15% of the analyses were based on samples picked up locally (in Chapel Hill, NC or Blacksburg, VA). The food samples were analyzed by mass spectrometry in the laboratory of S. Zeisel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Choline compounds were extracted and partitioned into organic and aqueous phases using methanol and chloroform and analyzed directly by liquid chromatography, electrospray ionization, isotope-dilution mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-IDMS). Samples were analyzed for betaine and these choline contributing compounds: free choline; glycerophosphocholine; phosphocholine; phosphatidylcholine; and sphingomyelin. These forms of choline were summed to derive total choline. Betaine is not included in the total choline value since the conversion of choline to betaine is irreversible in humans. All the data have been evaluated for quality using the data quality evaluation system developed by the NDL scientists, and confidence codes, the indicators of relative data quality and the reliability of a given mean, have been assigned to the total choline values for each food itme. The database is released on the NDL's web site, www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata and will be useful for health related studies, policy making, and for healthy individuals as well as for individuals with trimethylaminuria.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014