The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised products containing qualifying amounts of the essential nutrient choline to carry a nutrient content claim.
Choline was discovered over a century ago. According to research, choline could improve health in the areas of brain development, including memory function throughout life, cardiovascular health, improved liver function, and reproductive development.
The National Academy of Sciences has already recognised choline as an essential nutrient. The claim is the first nutrient content claim to be authorised under the Food & Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA). Qualifying foods and supplements will be able to claim they are a "good source" or "excellent source of choline."
Dr. Steven H. Zeisel, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, and the leading researcher into choline's health benefits, described how choline works in the body to improve health, especially in helping with memory loss.
Dr. Constance J. Geiger, Ph.D., R.D., is a research professor at the University of Utah, a member of the American Dietetic Association's Board of Editors, and an authority on nutrition and health communications. Dr. Geiger described how consumers can identify choline-rich foods, what new labelling will look like, and how consumers can integrate choline into a healthy diet.
Dr. Greg Paul, Ph.D., director of Nutrition Science, Central Soya Company, Inc. , was directly involved in the process of getting FDA authorisation for the claim. Dr. Paul described the regulatory process the choline claim followed, how choline is produced, and how food makers will likely bring out choline-fortified foods.