Choline

In mammalian but not avian species, the dietary need for choline can be replaced by excess methionine. In crystalline form, choline chloride (74.6% choline) is hygroscopic, and therefore it is considered a stress agent to other vitamins in a vitamin-mineral premix. Crystalline choline is considered quite stable in animal feeds and premixes. Crude plant oils (e.g., corn and soybean oil) contain choline as phospholipid-bound phosphatidyl choline. The bioavailability of choline in this form is at least 100%.[4] Refined plant oils generally have been subjected to alkaline treatment and bleaching, and these processes almost totally remove phospholipids, including phospholipid-bound choline.

Choline bioavailability (relative to crystalline choline chloride) in oilseed meals for chicks has been estimated at 83% in soybean meal, 76% in peanut meal, and only 24% in canola meal.[2] Also in chicks, excess dietary protein has been observed to markedly increase the dietary requirement for choline.

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