Choline is trimethyl ethanolamine [(CH 3 ) 3 NC 2 H 4 OH]; colorless hygroscopic crystals, soluble in water and alcohol and insoluble in ether . First isolated from bile, is included in the composition of lecithins (see) and other phosphatides (see), the source of the formation of acetylcholine (see).
Choline is one of the most powerful lipotropic substances that prevent fatty infiltration of the liver. When choline is deficient in the body, fatty degeneration of the liver and kidney hemorrhage occurs.
Choline derivatives have a high biological activity, serve as regulators of metabolism in the body.
Choline - trimethyl-β-hydroxyethylamine hydroxide formula [CH 2 OHCH 2 N (CH 3 ) 3 ] OH.
Choline crystals are hygroscopic, readily soluble in water, the solution has a strongly alkaline reaction. Choline is a part of lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) and due to the intensive exchange of phosphatides (see) is consumed in the body.
Synthesis of choline is carried out by methylation of ethanolamine (see) due to methyl groups of methionine. With a lack of choline or methionine in food, liver obesity is observed, and in young animals, in addition, kidney damage and hemorrhage. Therefore, choline is considered as a vitamin capable of regulating the processes of assimilation of fatty substances.
Choline is part of acetylcholine (see). The latter is formed in the body during the acetylation of choline by the enzyme choline acetylase. Choline is biologically active: it is capable of lowering blood pressure with a subsequent slight increase, causing a weak contraction of the smooth muscles of the uterus.
When boiling choline with barite water or under the action of putrefactive bacteria, water is cleaved from the choline molecule, which leads to the formation of a toxic substance - neurin:
[CH 2 ONSH 2 N (CH 3 ) 3 ] HE → [CH 2 = CH — N (CH 3 ) 3 ] OH + H 2 O.
Neurin is highly poisonous. Chemical properties close to choline.