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The Best Vitamin for a Fatty Liver

What is a fatty liver?

Another name for fatty liver is hepatic steatosis. Fatty liver occurs when fat accumulates in the liver. There’s nothing wrong with having small amounts of fat in your liver, but an excess of it can become a problem.

Your liver is the second largest organ in your body. The liver plays a vital role in processing the nutrients from drinks and food. It also acts as a filter removing harmful substances from your blood.

Having so much fat in your liver can cause inflammation, damaging your liver and creating scarring. In extreme cases, the scarring can lead to liver failure.

When fatty liver develops in an alcoholic, it is known as alcoholic liver disease (AFLD).

In a person who drinks little or no alcohol, the condition is known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

According to a 2017 study, over 25 to 30 percent of Americans and Europeans are affected by NAFLD.

Photo By Rasi

What is the missing nutrient in fatty liver disease?

When we talk about nutritional deficiencies, one common nutrient is nearly always deficient when you have a fatty liver. If you don’t consume enough of this nutrient from your food, you will develop a fatty liver, and that nutrient is called choline.

Choline is a recently-discovered nutrient.

It was acknowledged in 1998 as a required nutrient by the Institute of Medicine.

Although the human body makes some choline, it is essential to supplement your diet to avoid a deficiency.

Sadly, very few people are meeting the recommended intake for choline (1).

Choline is classified as an essential nutrient (2).

This means that it is required for human health and normal bodily function. Although the human body can make small amounts of choline, you must get most of it from your diet.

Choline is a water-soluble, organic compound. It isn’t a vitamin or a mineral.

Choline is often grouped with the vitamin B complex due to its similarities. However, it is essential to note that choline affects several vital bodily functions.

Choline contributes to healthy brain development, liver function, muscle development, metabolism, and the nervous system.

As such, adequate amounts of this nutrient are needed for optimal health (1).

What foods are high in choline?

Most dietary sources of choline are in the form of phosphatidylcholine. Dietary sources of choline include (3):

· Soybean oil: a tablespoon (15 ml) contains 47.3 mg of choline

· Cauliflower: a half cup of cauliflower (118 ml) contains 24.2 mg.

· Salmon: there is 62.7 mg of choline in a 110-gram (3.9-ounce) fillet of salmon

· Eggs: one large hard-boiled egg contains 113 mg

· Chicken liver: a slice of chicken liver (68 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains 222 mg.

· Beef liver: one slice of beef liver (68 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains 290 mg.

· Fresh cod: 248 mg of choline in 3 ounces of fresh cod

One egg supplies no less than 20–25 percent of your daily requirement, and two large eggs will provide you with at least half of your daily requirement (4).

Additives and supplements

Soy lecithin is a widely-used food additive with a lot of choline. So, extra choline may be consumed through food additives.

Lecithin is also available in supplement form. But lecithin tends to contain just around 10–20% phosphatidylcholine.

Phosphatidylcholine can also be taken as a powder or pill supplement, yet choline contains just about 13 percent of the weight of phosphatidylcholine (5).

Other supplements include choline chloride, CDP-choline, alpha-GPC, and betaine.

If you are looking for a supplement, CDP-choline and alpha-GPC is higher in choline content per unit weight. They are also more easily absorbed than others.

Too much can be harmful

Consuming excess choline has been associated with potentially harmful and unpleasant side effects.

These side effects include sweating, drops in blood pressure, fishy body odor, vomiting and nausea, and diarrhea (6).

The daily upper limit for adults is 3,500 mg daily. This is the highest level of intake that is unlikely to cause harm.

It is unlikely that a person could ingest up to 3,500 mg from food alone. Therefore, one may need to take supplements in large doses to reach this level.


Choline is an essential nutrient that contributes to optimal health. In addition, choline plays a vital role in liver function/health.

Although actual choline deficiency is rare, many people in the Western world are not meeting the recommended intake.

To increase your choline intake, consider eating foods rich in choline, like organic broccoli and cauliflower, pasture-raised eggs, and wild-caught salmon.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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