Pure choline is rarely used because of its fishy odor side effect. Choline-containing fatty substances are used in pill or powder form. However, these may cause stomach discomfort. Choline chloride, which comes as a liquid, is sometimes preferred, as it causes less stomach discomfort.
Choline is particularly important for fetuses during pregnancy. In addition, choline may help prevent memory loss associated with aging, protect against liver damage, help lower cholesterol, protect against cancer, or relax muscles.
Limited clinical research has examined the effects of choline supplementation on brain injury, bronchitis, memory impairment, and tardive dyskinesia. However, more research is needed before conclusions can be made.
In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences issued recommended dietary intakes (RDI) for choline, but many American may not be meeting these guidelines. Choline has been discussed in various reviews, including some that describe the importance of choline as a dietary supplement.