Choline on the Brain? A Guide to Choline in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I didn't find anywhere this article from 2012 by Cort, so I post an extract :

http://phoenixrising.me/research-2/...nic-fatigue-syndrome-by-cort-johnson-aug-2005

begining of the article:

Brain metabolic activity in CFS
Three studies have examined metabolic functioning in the brain using proton magnetic spectroscopy (MRS) (Chaudhuri et. al. 2003, Tomoda et. al. 2000, Puri et. al. 2002). The levels of three metabolites (N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline, creatine) in the brain are examined using this technique.

Puri’s study found that CFS patients (a) have significantly higher levels of choline in the occipital region of the brain than do controls and (b) exhibit an abnormal choline gradient between the motor and occipital cortex (Puri et. al. 2002).

Chaudhuri’s study found increased choline levels in the basal ganglia (Chaudhuri et. al. 2003). A very small study (n=3) examining adolescents with CFS also found increased choline levels in the basal ganglia as well (Tomoda et. al. 2001).

Three studies then, all of them small, but most with highly significant findings (p<.05, p<.001, p<.008) have found increased brain choline levels mostly in the basal ganglia. Normal NAA levels in two studies indicated neuronal mass was not disturbed.

The basal ganglia
The basal ganglia are large masses of gray matter at the base of the cerebral hemisphere; i.e. they are near the base of the skull where it meets the spinal column. They provide a nexus for interactions combining limbic/motor activities with volition; i.e. they play a key role in internal motivational states. One of the aspects they effect is perception of effort.

The limbic system is a collective term that denotes an array of interconnected brain structures (hippocampus, amygdale, fornicate gyrus) at or near the edge (limbus) of the cerebral hemisphere that connect with the hypothalamus.

By way of these connections, the limbic system exerts an important influence upon the endocrine and autonomic motor systems and appears to effect motivation and mood. Several endocrine and autonomic nervous system abnormalities have been identified in ME/CFS.

Basal ganglia dysfunction often causes problems with something called ‘tasking’. Sequential task processing, for instance, an important process used in initiating and following through complex tasks, is often impaired in people with basal ganglia dysfunction.

The ‘reward’ system which provides motivational impulses that in turn stimulate other parts of the brain is also often disrupted. These two abnormalities can increase the effort needed to carry out complex tasks, in particular.

A disease called akinesia which is defined as “poverty and slowness in willful movements” can also occur because of basal ganglia disease. It is believed to result from the inability of the brain to respond to environmental cues such as sight, sound and touch.

Choline
Choline is found in three forms in humans; phosphatidycholine (lecithin), acetylcholine and cytidine diphosphocholine. Most of the choline in the body is found in specialized fat cells called phospholipids that are abundant in the membranes of cells. Choline in used in the synthesis of three components in cell membranes; phospholipids, phosphatidycholine (lecithin) and sphingomyelin.

Causes of increased brain choline production
Elevated brain choline levels are usually associated with increased cell production (malignant tumors) and/or increased cell membrane turnover due to inflammation or ischemia (low blood flows) (Chaudhuri et. al. 2003).
 
Last edited:

Comments

I did buy extra strength Prevagen at authorized seller CVS. Paid $120 for two bottles. Did nothing for me but still could help other people. I called them up and got refund check for full amount. Just had to give them the numbers at bottom of both bottles. So no financial risk to try.
 
I think the sensitivity to choline problem has something to do with inflammation in the NMDA, sodium potassium pump. I also have an over-methylation problem also. What I suggest is concentrate on playing with the following supplements

Lithium Orotate
Magtein (Magnesium Threonate)
Taurine
DHA

https://neurohacker.com/formulation/neuro-minerals

All 4 supplements affect the problem area in various ways especially the first 2 in the most effective form.

The Lithium (5mg tablets) and Magtein (source natural ) get absorbed quickly. Many feel it's affect quickly. Take each around 30 minutes apart. I take one of each 3 times a day. I also play with increasing dosage.

Taurine is another one to add. Take in morning and evening.

DHA will help with inflammation in brain. I take a high absorption DHA water soluble brand that uses vesisorb. I can take it with just water also. Play with dosage.

Best to spread out dosage so it doesn't get depleted. May help with symptom control better I think. Give it some time, maybe a couple months to evaluate it's efficacy because things have to heal. Of course take on empty stomach.

I also have to be careful of potassium and calcium due to neuron excitatory affect. I think when I took only the magtein, it healed something and I wasn't as sensitive to these as much including choline. These may address the over methylated problem too.

I would like to add liposomal glutathione but it causes me to get over methylated. If you don't have that problem then maybe add this too.

The nutrients need to address the neuron dysfunction problem.
 
Last edited:
Well done @pattismith for finding that and posting it. Filled in a gap in my knowledge. Inflammation. Keeps coming up. For quite a while now I have been thinking that the much loved idea that depression and other symptoms that are (according to medical science and the pharma industry) caused by an imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters is wrong. Heresy. But how about this: The distubance in neurotransmitter levels is caused by inflammation and it is the inflammation that is the real cause of the symptoms. Any ideas about this from members?
I think it seems pretty likely that inflammation causes depression for many people. Obviously, malnourishment or altered amino acid metabolism could probably cause it too.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, inflammation destroys B6 and/or alters its metabolism. B6 is needed to make serotonin (and hence melatonin), the catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and GABA. I think there are multiple ways that B6 is used up by inflammation, but it's been a while since I've been down this rabbit hole, so I'll just say that I think it is worth checking out some of their cited sources. For example, here is the conclusion from citation 47:

upload_2019-1-5_15-43-50.png


I do think the entire page on B6 is worth reading: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B6#reference47

Then, to complicate the picture more, low B6 could cause sideroblastic anemia, and iron is needed to hydroxylate the aromatic amino acids for neurotransmitter production, so low iron can also cause depression.

Not only could low B6 cause low iron, but inflammation can cause sequestration of both iron and zinc, which would seem to further the risk of depression.

As to the cause of inflammation? At this point, I'm still heavily in favor of gut microbiome as one of the top causes. I think evolution would totally select for pathogens that have the ability to destroy B6 and/or alter the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway, and there seems to be plenty of evidence accumulating that gut bacteria affect mood. Bacteria with the ability to cause depression can influence the host's dietary choices. (Comfort food, anyone?)

I know there are other possible contributors to inflammation though. For Americans, for example, there are way too many foods that contain proinflammatory oils, a lot of nutrient-poor/low-fiber/high-acellular carbohydrate food choices, and lack of dietary antioxidants (and maybe people need regular polyphenol consumption for a variety of reasons, including the beneficial effects for the gut microbiome). Then, there's also the possibility of vitamin D deficiency. I guess I'm speaking from the point of view of someone with severe depression who also needs high intake of B6 to control it. (I take B6. I feel better. It wears off. I take more. What's happening to all of the B6 I take? I don't know what to blame besides inflammation.)

I suppose that's enough rambling for now. Inflammation is so easy to ramble on about though. I frequently hear about how inflammation is killing people, but as far as I can tell, for most of the general population in America, not a lot of action is being taken to reduce inflammation. Most of us are just whistling past the graveyard on that front.
 
Some interesting points from you @SherDa. When it comes to bad diet causing a range of problems, well yes sure it does. Cant answer your question about B6 but I am pleased to hear you have something that helps.
 
some time ago that I've read this thread, now since a few weeks I've used choline and it's helpful. It seems to give more energy. I take it 3 times daily with food. 3 X 1/3 of a gram. Now that it goes well I'm thinking of slowly switching to phospatidylcholine and see what that brings me. But wondering about dosage, anybody a smart idea?

Just found out that choline supplies methyl groups for methylation. Source
This can contribute to the benefits as well.
of late I've been reading the stuff from Ben Lynch, very interesting, he wrote a book and has a lot of video's out there. I do not much like the supplement selling thing. But when you close your ears when he does that I think he tells interesting things. he also mentions Choline as a methyl-donor. As I switched from methylcobalamine to hydroxy-injections, had a severe setback due to histamin overload ( stupid me, eating cheese) and then did not come back to former level, I thought I should take something that acts as methyl donor, and the choline does me good.

I really started out with taking creatine though, which is ( according to said Lynch) a methyl conservator, it takes much methylating to make the stuff. It did wonders for my overwrought liver and the adding of choline ramped up energy a little again.

I also have a sulfur-intolerance. Molybdenum helps me with that.
I tried it, made me severely more ill... back in the box, first study more about it, probably something else should come first or together with it, but what.

this illness gives rise to much studying, that's for sure.
 
Last edited:
Choline is critical for liver. The best choline supplement for liver is Life extension brand Hepatopro. The other therapeutic supplement that is good is UltraThistle or TUDCA.

I have to avoid methylating supplements since I am overmethylated.
 
Choline is critical for liver. The best choline supplement for liver is Life extension brand Hepatopro. The other therapeutic supplement that is good is UltraThistle or TUDCA.

I have to avoid methylating supplements since I am overmethylated.
thank you, but although my liver can use help too I'm in need of methylator and the choline seems to work well for me.

then looking around I thought maybe using phoshatidylcholine would be good too for me, then wondering whether the methylating effect would be same when I switch to sunflower lecithin.

hepatopro has soy which is a absolute no go for me, that was the reason I came up with the sunflower supplement. https://nl.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Sunflower-Lecithin-Pure-Powder-1-lb-454-g/59514
 
thank you, but although my liver can use help too I'm in need of methylator and the choline seems to work well for me.

then looking around I thought maybe using phoshatidylcholine would be good too for me, then wondering whether the methylating effect would be same when I switch to sunflower lecithin.

hepatopro has soy which is a absolute no go for me, that was the reason I came up with the sunflower supplement. https://nl.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Sunflower-Lecithin-Pure-Powder-1-lb-454-g/59514
hepatopro is hood for people who are sensitive to choline. Since you thrive on choline no big deal.

As far as soy, it is the antinutrient part of soy which is toxic. I avoid soy.

As far as soy in supplement, it is nutrient part and extremely small amount. Without enough of this nutrient, you would die. All soy isn't bad. Fermented soy is healthy. One needs to look at soy from practical perspective,

If it is allergy then that may be different
 
I have no idea what it is, but I avoid it because even in tiny amount brainfog and dizziness rear their ugly heads.
 
@Sundancer

I tried it, made me severely more ill
Molybdenum turned on me very quickly, and in an unpleasant way. It took me a minute to figure out what was doing it this time. Gets sooooo tiresome.
this illness gives rise to much studying, that's for sure.
Boy howdy. It's like the PhD course you never wantd to take, will never graduate from, and get no class credit for.
hepatopro has soy which is a absolute no go for me, that was the reason I came up with the sunflower supplement
Like you, soy does a real rhumba on me, except for naturally fermented soys like the MK variants, a small amount of true fermented soy sauce, natto (natch), and even those I have to approach with caution.