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Choline & Inositol Caps

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by Gary F. Zeolla

I suffer from a condition called neurological “tics.” These are minor muscle twitches that can barely be seen by others, but they can be very irritating, especially when they flare-up at night. The best I can explain, it feels like someone is pinching me. You should be able to image how difficult it would be to sleep with someone pinching you all night long. I have been able to get them mostly under control by taking Twinlab’s Calcium Citrate Caps. Follow the link for details. But they would still bother me from time to time, so I looked into something else that might help.

Two nutrients I came across were choline and inositol. Small amount of them were in the multi I was taking at the time. These are both B-vitamin like nutrients. I say “B-vitamin like” as there is controversy over whether these two nutrients are truly vitamins or not. The reason for the controversy is no specific deficiency symptoms can be established.

In other words, if you eliminate all vitamin C from a person’s diet, they will inevitably develop scurvy; if you eliminate all thiamin, beriberi. But no such specific condition occurs when there is no intake of choline or inositol. Moreover, both nutrients can be synthesized by the body in the intestines, so this means a dietary source is not really necessary. As such, there is no set Daily Value or Recommended Dietary Allowance for them. But an average dietary intake for choline is 500-900 mg a day, and for inositol, about 1,000 mg. However, it is known that both substances are involved with nerve transmission. And that is why they interested me in regards to my “tics.” They are also involved in the metabolism of fat and in the integrity of cell membranes.

With this background, I experimented with taking Twinlab’s Choline & Inositol Caps. Each capsule contains 250 mg or each. I took one capsule a day for some time, but I really couldn’t tell if it was providing any benefit or not, so I stopped taking it. Much later, I tried taking it once again, and again, I didn’t notice any difference. But then I did some research and found the above values for an average intake. I therefore figured maybe 250 mg was not a significant amount of either, so I increased the dosage to two per day. But with that, it actually made my tics worse, so I stopped taking it. Since choline and inositol are not true vitamins, it is doubtful that supplementation with them would provide any benefit, so their use is probably just a waste of money.

One final point, the 10 to 100 mg of each often added to multiple vitamins is actually a rather meaningless amount given the above average dietary intakes. But they are probably added just to make a supplement look more "complete" than a competitor's, but there’s really no point to it. For a more natural source of choline and inositol, see Lecithin (NOW Non-GMO Lecithin Granules).

But if you want to try Twinlab's Choline & Inositol Caps, it is available at iHerb and Amazon. iHerb site also has other brands of choline and inositol, as does Amazon. For iHerb, use coupon code HOP815 to get $5.00 off your first order.


Parsonnet, Mia. M.D. What’s in Our Food? Madison books: New York, 1996, pp.35,36, 55.

Somer, Elizabeth, M.A., R.D. The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. New York: Harper Paperback, 1992, pp. 71,72.

Choline & Inositol Caps. Copyright 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site May 3, 2008.
It was updated June 14, 2017.

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