A new regulator of vesicle trafficking in plants

A protein that transports the simple chemical choline plays a major role in vesicle trafficking, ion homeostasis, and growth and development in plants, according to two new studies publishing 28 December in the open-access ...

Research reveals microbial threat to key nutrient

For the most part, scientists think of the trillions of microbes that call the human gut home as allies—after all, they've been shown to aid the body in synthesizing key vitamins and other nutrients.

Deceiving cell walls

(PhysOrg.com) -- Approximately 1.6 million people die worldwide every year as a result of pneumococcal infection, which causes grave illnesses, including pneumonia, meningitis, and middle-ear infections. Children and the ...

Choline

Choline is a water-soluble essential nutrient. It is usually grouped within the B-complex vitamins. Choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation.

The cation appears in the head groups of phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two classes of phospholipid that are abundant in cell membranes. Choline is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control.

Choline must be consumed through the diet in order for the body to remain healthy. It is used in the synthesis of the constructional components in the body's cell membranes. Unfortunately, dietary recommendations have discouraged people from eating high choline foods, such as egg and fatty meats. The 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey stated that only 2% of postmenopausal women consume the recommended intake for choline.

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