Deficiency Symptoms

Deficiencies of cholin can adversely affect the liver. Because the liver is linked with the proper use and assimilation of fats in the body, it may develop fatty deposits, causing the liver cells to become inflamed, swollen or enlarged so that the flow of blood and lymph is partially or completely halted. This condition, known as cirrhosis, produces scars and can damage or block certain liver functions. Without cholin to bind with inositol to create lecithin in the liver to burn up fatty deposits properly, there may be a bloated feeling in the liver area after the person eats a meal. In addition, a person may not desire meat products. He or she may also feel hungry but then full after only a few bites. But the liver is a regenerative organ, and with proper cholin and a diet high in protein it can recover.

The kidneys may also suffer damage from lack of cholin. The kidneys may hemorrhage, although when they are medically tested no pathological reason for the bleeding will be apparent. And fatty deposits may block the tubules within the kidneys, causing blood to be passed into the urine. Other symptoms can be atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. High blood pressure associated with malfunctioning kidneys may also develop: characterized by headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations and constipation, such high blood pressure can be alleviated in some cases with proper amounts of cholin. Moreover, kidney stones or gallstones may form with a lack of cholin: oral doses of lecithin have been known to prevent formation of such stones.

Nerve-related problems, such as myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by great muscular weakness and fatigue in general), have shown positive responses when cholin was administered, too. With such conditions nerve impulses fail to induce normal muscle contractions: acetylcholine is responsible for the nerve impulses making contact so that the muscles respond quickly and fluidly.

In addition, glaucoma (a disease of the eye characterized by an increase in intraocular pressure and resulting in atrophy of the optic nerve and eventual blindness) may be indirectly related to a deficiency of cholin, which has been known to help such a condition.

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