hi, I'm new to these forums so hope my bumping this topic is not wrong. I have recently discovered and become aware of choline as an essential nutrient.
Ive been self experimenting with the vegan diet for 2-3 years now, pretty rigorously keeping track of what i eat and what it contains, how fresh it is, how i cooked/chewed it and what state of mind i was under and other such things. Choline is relatively untalked about but seems vitaly important (especially for cholesterol and bile production, as well as brain chemical modulation, cell membrane creation). Considering those three factors...it seems almost like one of the most important nutrients of all, especially considering it is essential to obtain it from diet. Apparently from my deductive reasoning and analyizing of data, most americans get enough choline each day from eggs, meat, and eggs and soy that have been cooked into processed and bakery products that they may not even been aware of. But as a vegan, we usually dont even consider choline or realize its importance, and its almost never talked about mainstream, yet it is extremely important to get into your diet to feel good mentally and digest/ eliminate old lipids (and lipid soluble toxins). In my experience, fiber is not really that important compared to good bile production/flow which is highy dependent on getting enough choline.
So...some info on choline sources that I've found...
Generally: providing enough calories,
Beans, Legumes (including soy), Tubers, Beer, Mulberries, Most Dairy : A diet entirely of these would produce just enough or slighly abundant amount of choline
Grains, Fruit, Oils, Sugars, Alcohol besides beer, Nuts, Seeds : A diet entirely of these would produce only 25 - 50% enough choline if all calories were obtained from these
Vegetables, most meat (muscle and generally the meat that most people eat) : A diet entirely of these would provide slighly more than enough choline per calories (slightly supplemental)
Organ meat, eggs : These provide, especially egg yolk, abundant amounts of choline (about 30% of daily value per egg or small serving of most organ meat)
So having said that...as a vegan, unless you are eating almost if not all your calories from beans, tubers, beer, mulberries...then to the degree that you have grains/fruit/nut/seed/alcohol/sugar/oil, you will have to equivalently have supplemental amounts of vegetables, meat, organ meat, or eggs. I think this is why people who consume a lot of vegetable juice (have the juice habit) or consume a lot of wheatgrass, or other grass juices as a vegan are slighly supplementing choline each day to offset the fruits/grains/nut/seed and are ok in the long run. But vegans who eat mosly grain/fruit/nut/seed/oil with even some legumes and tubers...if not supplementing large amounts of vegetables(greens)/grass juice inaddition will be choline deficient...resulting in slightly less than optimal digestion / mood than they were used to pre being vegan because they were getting enough choline from eggs and meat without even realizing or considerign its importance.
From my experience, I have a hard time consuming enough vegetables to offset this ratio because of the time it takes simply to fully masticate and swallow them. I have also
noticed that in my recent past before realizing about choline, only stimulating advertisements with eggs would cause me cravings...where as meat and dairy adds didn't produce
such effects. Being that I was consuming mostly fruit and grains for a period of about 4-5 months, choline would be apparenly why (being that eggs are the most concentrated source, and my
body was likely deficient...as i was experiencing the general symptoms). I did some research and found that wheat grass juice, per 21 calories has about 95mg choline (daily requirement is about 400-500mg). Most wheatgrass juice powders are about 16 calories per serving. So...basically it is slighly supplemental in terms of calorie ratio for supplying choline, even a little more than other leafy vegetables. Being that it is the juice extract and not the whole plant with the fiber, it can pretty easily be consumed in relatively large amounts (though still slighly astringent on the tongue, proper dillution can help this).
So i pretty much have about 4 servings of wheatgrass juice powder, supplying about 64 calories (about 270-280 mg choline), which is 8 teaspoons...i dillute in about a cup of water then slowly sip/chew the juice) which in addition to an average or even slightly defficient choline diet will offset and make up the daily requirements. Ive noticed within a few days my stools were more easily passed and slid out easier (an idication of good bile flow, mucous enveloping the stool), as well as my fat containing food cravings has increased (also in indicator of better bile flow). I only usually consume only about 10-20 grams of fiber a day...yet still pass stool at least 1-3 times a day (more/less if not at work or in active mode) because i chew my food very well and maintain proper hydration, yet in the absence of proper bile the stool would be slighly gummier and leave more residue (like peanut butter) whereas with better bile flow it seems to leave less residue and slide out much easier, with no change in fiber or water content.
Basically, its very hard to get adequate choline on a vegan diet...most vegetarians and americans get enough without realizing how or ever considering it, and it is almost
never mentioned in the vegan community despite being one of, in my opinion, the most important nutrients to consider.
neutral/adequate choline: legumes, beans, beer, dairy, mulberries, tubers
slighly to highly deficient choline: fruit, grains, nuts, seeds, sugars, oils, wine/spirits/sake
slighly supplemental choline: leafy vegetables, sea vegetables, herbs, most meat, grass juices (wheatgrass, barleygrass, oatgrass, ect), algea, brewers yeast
highly supplemental choline: eggs, organ meat
Choline's apparent role is to help produce bile, which leads to better digestion of lipids (fat and cholesterol), as well as being able to clean the digestive tract each time it flows through (like soap). It also helps produce acetylcholine (brain transmittor), important for muscle control, mood, memory, sharpness. Also important for production of phospholipds which are part of every cell's membrane (therefore essential to grow/repair the body in general, in any area).
I really think this is an untalked about reason why many vegans unknowingly have cravings for eggs and meat, ect...and its generally really hard to get as a vegan, and those who do get
enough (by juicing a lot and/or eating a lot of or predominatly vegies/tubers/legumes) dont realize that this is why they feel ok and other vegans dont, and therefore have no way of helping or coming to conclusions as to why certain people suffer on a vegan diet.
Any input or comments welcome...I'd really like to hear other peoples experience/knowledge on this subject and if it seems I have any validity. I have pretty much done the self experiementing,
research, analyzing nutritional content and comparing them to cravings to derive this info...so feedback from others is necessary to draw conclusions! Thanks