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Choline is a water-soluble nutrient that your body needs to maintain typical functioning. While your liver can make small amounts of choline, you must get most of your choline from your diet (
Although many foods — including eggs, salmon, cauliflower, broccoli, and beef — contain choline, some people may not be able to fulfill their choline needs through diet alone (
This article lists the 3 best choline supplements, according to dietitians.
Choline is a water-soluble essential nutrient. It’s not considered a vitamin or a mineral but is often grouped with the B vitamins because it has some similarities to them.
This nutrient is involved in several essential bodily processes that affect the health and development of your heart, liver, brain, and nervous system. It also plays an essential role in muscle contractions (
There’s currently not enough evidence to establish a Recommended Dietary Allowance for choline.
Instead, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has established Adequate Intake (AI) levels, which indicate the amount of choline that is assumed to be adequate for individual health (
Current AIs for choline in teens and adults are as follows:
|14–18 years||550 mg/day||400 mg/day||450 mg/day||550 mg/day|
|19+ years||550 mg/day||425 mg /day||450 mg/day||550 mg/day|
Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created a Daily Value (DV) for choline to be used on food and supplement packaging.
The current DV for choline is 550 milligrams (mg) for all people over age 4 (
However, keep in mind that the optimal amount of choline for you may vary depending on your current health needs. You can talk with a healthcare professional about how much choline you should be getting through diet or supplements.
Most healthy adults can meet their choline needs through diet alone. However, some people may have greater choline needs or be more likely to have a deficiency in this nutrient.
- those who are pregnant or nursing
- endurance athletes
- those who have certain genetic variations
It’s important to discuss supplements with a trusted healthcare professional before trying them. In addition to helping you decide whether a choline supplement may be right for you, they can recommend an appropriate dose.
We selected the best choline supplements using the following criteria:
- Form of choline: We selected supplements that contain forms of choline that have been shown to be beneficial for their intended use.
- Ingredient quality: The products below feature high quality ingredients and contain minimal, if any, artificial additives.
- Supplement function: We selected products to suit a variety of health needs.
Why you should trust us
Every brand and product on our list has been reviewed by registered dietitians and vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:
- adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per FDA regulations
- is manufactured in facilities that adhere to the current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
- is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
- is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.
Generally, prices range from $0.10 to $0.66 per serving, or $12.99 to $39.49 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
- $ = under $0.15 per serving
- $$ = $0.15–$0.50 per serving
- $$$ = over $0.50 per serving
- Price: $$$
- Form: citicoline
- Serving size: 1 capsule
- Dose per serving: 250 mg
Jarrow Formulas tops our list of the best choline supplements thanks to its use of citicoline — a form of choline that research suggests is more readily absorbed and more effective for memory, thinking ability, and overall brain health (
Specifically, Jarrow Formulas Citicoline (CDP Choline) contains Cognizin, a clinically tested form of citicoline that has been shown to improve attention and memory function in healthy adults (
Jarrow Formulas supplements are third-party tested and manufactured in NSF-certified facilities to ensure purity, safety, and quality.
For best results, take 1 capsule once or twice per day with a meal or follow a healthcare professional’s recommendation.
- third-party tested
- made in an NSF-certified facility
- free of major allergens
- contains a clinically tested branded form of citicoline
- non-GMO verified
- not vegetarian- or vegan-friendly
- Price: $
- Form: choline bitartrate
- Serving size: 1 capsule
- Dose per serving: 250 mg
Costing less than $0.15 per serving, NOW Supplements Choline & Inositol is a good option for tight budgets.
The supplement provides 250 mg of choline bitartrate (45% of the DV for choline), along with 250 mg of inositol, a type of sugar that your body naturally produces.
Inositol affects many important functions, including insulin regulation and hormonal signaling. Studies suggest that inositol supplements may be effective for managing symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, though more research is needed (
NOW supplements are produced in UL Solutions-certified facilities. According to the company, all NOW supplements are third-party tested for purity and potency.
It’s worth noting that some customers have experienced allergic reactions and unwanted side effects, such as stomach pain and skin rashes, after taking these pills. If you experience any negative side effects, discontinue the use of this supplement and seek medical care.
Unless a trusted healthcare professional recommends otherwise, take 1 capsule daily with a meal.
- made in a UL Solutions-certified facility
- third-party tested
- major allergen-free
- large capsules that may be difficult to swallow
- some reports of allergic reactions
Best with phosphatidylcholine
- Price: $
- Form: phosphatidylcholine
- Serving size: 1 softgel
- Dose per serving: 420 mg
Double Wood Supplements Phosphatidylcholine is a third-party tested supplement containing a form of choline that may be beneficial for supporting liver function.
While more human research is necessary, current studies suggest that phosphatidylcholine intake may play a role in preserving or improving the ability to think and reducing the risk of dementia (
In addition to being third-party tested by Nutra Solutions and VITA-gen Laboratories, Double Wood Supplements products are manufactured in U.S.-based CGMP-compliant facilities.
The company provides certificates of analysis (COAs) for its supplements upon request.
For best results, take 1–2 softgels daily with food or follow the recommendations of a healthcare professional.
- third-party tested
- COA available upon request
- not vegan- or vegetarian-friendly
Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:
When shopping for a choline supplement, it’s important to consider several factors:
- Choline form: Although more research is needed on this topic, some forms of choline may be better for certain uses than others. For example, CDP-choline may be more effective for supporting ability to think (
- Dose: The amount of choline that you should take in supplement form varies based on the type of choline in the supplement, as well as your age, current diet, and reason for taking the supplement.
- Supplement type: Some types of supplements are easier to swallow than others. Choose a product that you feel comfortable taking.
- Quality and brand reputation: Because the FDA does not regulate supplements in the same way as pharmaceuticals, it’s important to choose a quality product that is produced by a reputable brand and third-party tested to ensure purity and potency.
As with most supplements, it is important not to consume more than the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of choline.
Additionally, to reduce the risk of side effects, you should not consume more than the AI of choline unless a healthcare professional advises it.
The current ULs for choline are as follows (
|1–8 years||1,000 mg||1,000 mg|
|9–13 years||2,000 mg||2,000 mg|
|14–18 years||3,000 mg||3,000 mg||3,000 mg||3,000 mg|
|19+ years||3,500 mg||3,500 mg||3,500 mg||3,500 mg|
People who exceed the UL for choline may experience the following symptoms (
- liver toxicity
- low blood pressure
- excessive sweating and salivation
- fishy body odor
Before taking a choline supplement, talk with a healthcare professional to determine the right dose and product for your needs.
What is the best form of choline to take?
Research on the differences among the forms of choline found in supplements is lacking. However, some studies suggest that certain forms may be easier to absorb or better for certain purposes.
For example, citicoline (CDP-choline) may be more effective for brain health because of its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, whereas phosphatidylcholine has been shown to be beneficial for supporting liver health in people with NAFLD (
Who should take choline supplements?
People who may benefit from taking choline supplements include those who are pregnant or nursing and those who have a genetic variation that makes it harder to meet choline needs through diet alone.
People who have dietary restrictions or difficulties with nutrient absorption may benefit from taking a multivitamin that contains choline.
Always consult a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements. They can determine the appropriate product and dosage for you.
Should you take choline daily?
Choline supplements are safe to take daily, though they aren’t necessary for everyone.
If a healthcare professional has recommended that you take a choline supplement, make sure to consume only the recommended dose.
Can you take too much choline?
Yes. To avoid potentially dangerous side effects, adults should not consume more than 3,500 mg of choline from supplements per day (
Potential side effects of excess choline intake include liver toxicity, vomiting, low blood pressure, fishy body odor, and excess sweating and saliva production.
Why is choline important during pregnancy?
Choline is an essential nutrient for fetal brain development, and research suggests that increased choline intake during pregnancy may positively affect a child’s memory, thinking ability, behavior, and even chronic disease risk later in life (
Choline is an essential nutrient that affects liver, brain, and heart health. It also plays an essential role in fetal brain development (
Because several foods contain choline, many people can meet their choline needs through diet alone.
If you’re pregnant, nursing, or generally worried that you’re not getting enough choline in your diet, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional about whether a choline supplement is right for you.