Vitamin B4, also called choline, is actually a vitamine-derivative substance, but it is often presented as a vitamin which belongs to the large group of B-vitamins. It is water soluble and as one of the few substances has ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. In the body system, it is contained in the compounds called phospholipids, of which the most famous is the lecithin.
The health-promoting properties of vitamin B4 are incredibly valuable. First of all, it invigorates the mind and determines the proper functioning of the brain. It significantly improves memory, reduces the risk of dementia and is used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It also maintains the proper cholesterol level, which helps to regulate lipid management in the body system.
What is more, vitamin B4 minimizes the fat accumulation in the blood vessels walls and the gallbladder. It also significantly improves the liver functions. It protects the body system from toxins, viruses and the negative effects of alcohol consumption.
The demand for choline increases in the periods of prolonged stress and increased nervous tension. It is also recommended for people who use large amounts of stimulants (especially alcohol) and a heavy diet. As choline is of great importance for the development of the baby's nervous system, it should be used by pregnant women. It has been also proven that the concentration of vitamin B4 in the bloodstream decreases after an intense physical effort and this change may not always be reversed by the choline reserves of the body system, so athletes should pay attention to the proper level of this substance in the body system.
In supplementation, choline occurs in several different forms. One of them, citicoline (CDP-choline) is very easily absorbed. It is suggested to combine choline with other preparations, especially with calcium, as this element increases the level of phosphorus in the body system (and phosphorus is able to replace calcium). On the other hand, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin B12 ensure the better absorption of choline.