Choline Question

Hi, Dr. Dean,

I have been buying Life Enhancement products for years. I take around 18 different of your supplements each day. I have a question about choline I hope you can answer.

I currently buy GalantaMind and Inner Power, both with choline. I take 2 pills per day of the GalantaMind with Ginkgo (one at breakfast and one at lunch). Each pill has 200 mg of choline (400 mg per day).

I take only one serving of Inner Power with xylitol (in the morning on an empty stomach). That one serving has 670 mg of choline.

Altogether, that is 1,070 mg per day of choline. The FDA recommendation is 200-600 mg per day. There are side effects listed that could occur, and I have one of them—a fishy body odor.

My wife says it is so bad she can’t be near me. My grandkids hug me and say “what is that fishy smell?” At times, I can also smell it. I only started taking GalantaMind 4 months ago. I have been taking Inner Power for years. The smell has been on and off for about 3 years.

Experimenting, I did not take GalantaMind for 3 weeks, and no smell. I resumed taking both, and within days the smell came back.

I stopped taking Inner Power 4 days ago, and there is no smell at all right now.

Am I taking too much Choline? I am only taking what is recommended on your bottles. I do want to keep taking both these quality products. Or am I one of a small percentage of people who are affected? Any advice you can give me?

Thank you
GREG, Salinas, CA

Dear Greg,

The fishy body odor you are experiencing is believed to be due to breakdown of choline in the intestines by bacteria. It is a known side effect experienced by some, and is not due to “excess” intake. Although the FDA may recommend only 200-600 mg/day, many studies have evaluated the cognitive-enhancing effects of choline, using daily dosages from 1-3 g/day, without adverse effects (including fishy odor).

Durk & Sandy have recommended that those who experience the fishy odor from choline may eliminate this unpleasant side effect by altering their intestinal bacteria levels with yogurt or probiotics.

Ward Dean, MD

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