Inositol is a vitamin-like compound that was previously known as vitamin B8 until it was discovered that the human body can produce it from glucose. Though this means that inositol is no longer considered a vitamin, it is still vital for important functions in the body.
Inositol exists in the form of 9 different isomers. All inositol compounds differ only in the spatial arrangement of their atoms. The two best-known inositol forms are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. Inositol is mainly found in the brain, liver and kidneys.
Choline is an essential vitamin for many animals, and until it was found that the body can cover part of its requirements through its own synthesis using glutamine and ornithine, it was counted among the vitamins of the B-complex in humans. Today, although it is no longer called vitamin B4, choline is considered a semi-essential, vitamin-like substance.
Choline plays an important role in a variety of body functions. It is mainly found in the body in the form of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and acetylcholine. In fat metabolism, it supports the liver's enzyme system and is an important component of bile secretion. As a component of VLDL (very-low-density lipoproteins), it transports fat and cholesterol from the liver to other body tissues. Furthermore, choline functions as a methyl group donor. Just like betaine, vitamin B12, folate and S-adenosylmethionine, it helps regulate homocysteine levels.
Health Benefits of Choline
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), choline contributes to:
- Normal homocysteine metabolism
- Normal lipid metabolism
- Maintaining normal liver function