Dietary reference values: EFSA publishes advice on choline

EFSA has set dietary reference values for choline as part of its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes. Choline plays an important role in the human body, in particular for the maintenance of normal liver function. 

The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) defines daily adequate intakes (AIs) for choline as follows:

  • 400 mg for adults and adolescents aged 15-17 years.
  • 140 to 340 mg for children aged 1-14 years.
  • 160 mg for infants aged 7-11 months.
  • 480 mg for pregnant women and 520 mg for lactating women.

The findings of the NDA Panel are based on consumption data from national surveys conducted on healthy people in the European Union. The Panel also considered data on the amounts of choline needed to replenish the body in case of a deficiency.

Choline deficiency can have adverse effects, including fatty liver, and liver and muscle damage. Food sources of choline include eggs, meat, fish, whole grains, vegetables and fruit, as well as fats and oils.

EFSA received comments and input on the draft opinion during a four-week public consultation in early 2016.

Media contacts