Special Issue "Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Micronutrients and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Milagros Gallo
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department Psychobiology, Institute of Neurosciences, University of Granada, Spain
Interests: behavioral neuroscience; learning and memory; memory; choline

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Choline is an essential nutrient classified within the vitamin B complex, which regulates several functions relevant for maintaining human health from early life to aging. Choline plays a critical role in the synthesis of the phospholipid membrane critical for cell functions, it is the major source of methyl-donors relevant for epigenetic modifications of the genome, and it is the precursor of acetylcholine, being a ubiquitous neurotransmitter involved in attention, learning, and memory, among other cognitive processes.

Dietary choline availability regulates choline levels, which are relevant for early brain development and brain plasticity throughout life. Thus, choline dysregulation has been associated with lower cognitive performance; neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases; mental disorders; and aging cognitive decline. Choline-related functions seem to be also dysregulated in other clinical conditions, such as cancer, obesity, and immune system and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, nutritional intervention is emerging as a promising treatment, either by regulating choline levels through maternal and adult choline supplementation or by acting on the bacterial metabolism of dietary choline throughout gut microbiota modifications. Animal and human research has provided evidence supporting the neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing effects of choline dietary supplementation at different developmental stages. Being such a wide field, more research is required for understanding the role of choline in human health, action mechanisms, interactions with other micronutrients, and potential value for disease management.

The aim of this Special Issue is to update our knowledge in the field and provide new insights based on animal and human research. Hence, we invite you to submit research articles, reviews, communications, and concept papers focused on the effect of dysregulation and dietary choline availability on health and disease.

Prof. Milagros Gallo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • choline
  • diet
  • epigenetic
  • acetylcholine
  • neurodegeneration
  • development
  • microbiota

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Alterations in One-Carbon Metabolism in Celiac Disease
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3723; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123723 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy associated with alterations of metabolism. Metabolomics studies, although limited, showed changes in choline, choline-derived lipids, and methionine concentrations, which could be ascribed to alterations in one-carbon metabolism. To date, no targeted metabolomics analysis investigating differences in [...] Read more.
Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy associated with alterations of metabolism. Metabolomics studies, although limited, showed changes in choline, choline-derived lipids, and methionine concentrations, which could be ascribed to alterations in one-carbon metabolism. To date, no targeted metabolomics analysis investigating differences in the plasma choline/methionine metabolome of CD subjects are reported. This work is a targeted metabolomic study that analyzes 37 metabolites of the one-carbon metabolism in 17 children with CD, treated with a gluten-free diet and 17 healthy control siblings, in order to establish the potential defects in this metabolic network. Our results demonstrate the persistence of defects in the transsulfuration pathway of CD subjects, despite dietary treatment, while choline metabolism, methionine cycle, and folate cycle seem to be reversed and preserved to healthy levels. These findings describe for the first time, a metabolic defect in one-carbon metabolism which could have profound implications in the physiopathology and treatment of CD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health)
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Article
Choline Intake as Supplement or as a Component of Eggs Increases Plasma Choline and Reduces Interleukin-6 without Modifying Plasma Cholesterol in Participants with Metabolic Syndrome
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3120; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103120 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance, which increase the risk of heart disease. Eggs have numerous nutrients including choline, carotenoids, and fat-soluble vitamins that may protect against these conditions. Egg phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a major contributor of dietary [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance, which increase the risk of heart disease. Eggs have numerous nutrients including choline, carotenoids, and fat-soluble vitamins that may protect against these conditions. Egg phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a major contributor of dietary choline in the American diet. However, uncertainty remains regarding eggs due to their high concentration of cholesterol. In this study, we evaluated the effect of two sources of choline, whole eggs (a source of PC) and a choline supplement (choline bitartrate, CB), on plasma lipids, glucose, insulin resistance, and inflammatory biomarkers. We recruited 23 subjects with MetS to participate in this randomized cross-over intervention. After a 2-week washout, with no choline intake, participants were randomly allocated to consume three eggs/day or CB (~400 mg choline/d for both) for 4 weeks. After a 3-week washout period, they were allocated to the alternate treatment. Dietary records indicated higher concentrations of vitamin E and selenium during the egg period (p < 0.01). Interestingly, there were no changes in plasma total, low density lipoprotein (LDL)- or high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides, or glucose, compared either to baseline or between treatments. In contrast, interleukin-6 was reduced, with both sources of choline compared to baseline, while eggs also had an effect on lowering C-reactive protein, insulin, and insulin resistance compared to baseline. This study demonstrates that in a MetS population, intake of three eggs per day does not increase plasma LDL cholesterol, and has additional benefits on biomarkers of disease compared to a choline supplement, possibly due to the presence of other antioxidants in eggs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health)
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Article
Prenatal Choline Supplementation during High-Fat Feeding Improves Long-Term Blood Glucose Control in Male Mouse Offspring
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010144 - 04 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1208
Abstract
Maternal obesity increases the risk of metabolic dysregulation in rodent offspring, especially when offspring are exposed to a high-fat (HF), obesogenic diet later in life. We previously demonstrated that maternal choline supplementation (MCS) in HF-fed mouse dams during gestation prevents fetal overgrowth and [...] Read more.
Maternal obesity increases the risk of metabolic dysregulation in rodent offspring, especially when offspring are exposed to a high-fat (HF), obesogenic diet later in life. We previously demonstrated that maternal choline supplementation (MCS) in HF-fed mouse dams during gestation prevents fetal overgrowth and excess adiposity. In this study, we examined the long-term metabolic influence of MCS. C57BL/6J mice were fed a HF diet with or without choline supplementation prior to and during gestation. After weaning, their pups were exposed to either a HF or control diet for 6 weeks before measurements. Prenatal and post-weaning dietary treatments led to sexually dimorphic responses. In male offspring, while post-weaning HF led to impaired fasting glucose and worse glucose tolerance (p < 0.05), MCS in HF dams (HFCS) attenuated these changes. HFCS (versus maternal normal fat control) appeared to improve metabolic functioning of visceral adipose tissue during post-weaning HF feeding, preventing the elevation in leptin and increasing (p < 0.05) mRNA expression of insulin receptor substrate 1 (Irs1) that promotes peripheral insulin signaling in male offspring. In contrast, MCS had minimal effects on metabolic outcomes of female offspring. In conclusion, MCS during HF feeding in mice improves long-term blood glucose homeostasis in male offspring when they are faced with a postnatal obesogenic environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health)
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Review

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Review
A Systematic Review of the Dietary Choline Impact on Cognition from a Psychobiological Approach: Insights from Animal Studies
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1966; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061966 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
The influence of dietary choline availability on cognition is currently being suggested by animal and human studies which have focused mainly on the early developmental stages. The aim of this review is to systematically search through the available rodent (rats and mice) research [...] Read more.
The influence of dietary choline availability on cognition is currently being suggested by animal and human studies which have focused mainly on the early developmental stages. The aim of this review is to systematically search through the available rodent (rats and mice) research published during the last two decades that has assessed the effect of dietary choline interventions on cognition and related attentional and emotional processes for the entire life span. The review has been conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement guidelines covering peer-reviewed studies included in PubMed and Scopus databases. After excluding duplicates and applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria we have reviewed a total of 44 articles published in 25 journals with the contribution of 146 authors. The results are analyzed based on the timing and duration of the dietary intervention and the behavioral tests applied, amongst other variables. Overall, the available results provide compelling support for the relevance of dietary choline in cognition. The beneficial effects of choline supplementation is more evident in recognition rather than in spatial memory tasks when assessing nonpathological samples whilst these effects extend to other relational memory tasks in neuropathological models. However, the limited number of studies that have evaluated other cognitive functions suggest a wider range of potential effects. More research is needed to draw conclusions about the critical variables and the nature of the impact on specific cognitive processes. The results are discussed on the terms of the theoretical framework underlying the relationship between the brain systems and cognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health)
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Review
The Relationship between Choline Bioavailability from Diet, Intestinal Microbiota Composition, and Its Modulation of Human Diseases
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2340; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082340 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3220
Abstract
Choline is a water-soluble nutrient essential for human life. Gut microbial metabolism of choline results in the production of trimethylamine (TMA), which, upon absorption by the host is converted into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) in the liver. A high accumulation of both components is related [...] Read more.
Choline is a water-soluble nutrient essential for human life. Gut microbial metabolism of choline results in the production of trimethylamine (TMA), which, upon absorption by the host is converted into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) in the liver. A high accumulation of both components is related to cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and chronic kidney disease. However, the relationship between the microbiota production of these components and its impact on these diseases still remains unknown. In this review, we will address which microbes contribute to TMA production in the human gut, the extent to which host factors (e.g., the genotype) and diet affect TMA production, and the colonization of these microbes and the reversal of dysbiosis as a therapy for these diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health)
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Review
Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Skeletal Muscle
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2144; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072144 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2565
Abstract
Background: Choline is an essential micronutrient with a pivotal role in several metabolic pathways contributing to liver, neurological, and hematological homeostasis. Although choline is commonly administered to improve physical performance, its effects on muscle are still unclear. The aim of this scoping review [...] Read more.
Background: Choline is an essential micronutrient with a pivotal role in several metabolic pathways contributing to liver, neurological, and hematological homeostasis. Although choline is commonly administered to improve physical performance, its effects on muscle are still unclear. The aim of this scoping review is to analyze the role of choline on skeletal muscle in terms of biological effects and clinical implications. Methods: A technical expert panel (TEP) of 6 medical specialists with expertise in muscle physiology and skeletal muscle disorders performed the review following the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) model. The TEP planned a research on PubMed selecting “choline” as MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) term adding to PubMed Search Builder the terms ”skeletal muscle” and “muscle striated”. TEP considered for eligibility articles published in the last 30 years, including original researches, particularly in vitro studies, and animal and clinical studies in the English language. Results: From the 1239 studies identified, TEP included 14 studies, 3 in vitro, 9 animal, and 2 clinical studies. Conclusions: Our scoping review elucidates and summarizes the crucial role of choline in modulating muscle fat metabolism, muscle proteins homeostasis, and the modulation of inflammation and autophagy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Human Health)
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