Chris Masterjohn PhD talks about How Much Choline Should I Eat? The Genetic Calculator
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Chris Masterjohn PhD talks about How Much Choline Should I Eat? The Genetic Calculator

The Masterjohn Genetic Choline Calculator is a free tool you can use to turn your raw data file from Ancestry or 23andMe into a precise recommendation of how much choline you should aim to get from food! Click here to start using it:

The Masterjohn Genetic Choline Calculator

This tool is more actionable and simpler to interpret than many other third party genetic reports that cost $10-$45, but is completely free. In fact, I don't even ask you for your email address to give you the report! (Though I do suggest you sign up for my Occasional Newsletter, which is where I'll notify you whenever I release something big like this.)

The default display for the results is “Just Gimme What Works.” This tells you how much choline you should aim for, how much betaine you should replace it with, and gives you examples of how to get these nutrients from foods.

If you're as geeky as I am, you can switch to the “Advanced Stuff” tab at the top of the calculator's results and get the specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were taken into account, the math used for the calculation, and the supporting references.

Click here to start using the calculator, or keep reading to learn more about it.

The Idea Behind the Genetic Choline Calculator

The idea behind the calculator is that more choline gets used up for methylation (click here to learn more about that process) when you are less effective at using folate to support that process.

The SNPs Used by the Genetic Choline Calculator

The calculator uses SNPs in the folate transporter (SLC19a1, rs1051266, G80A), the enzyme that helps make the precursor to methylfolate (MTHFD1, rs2236225, G1958A), and the enzyme that helps make methylfolate itself (MTHFR, rs1801131, A1298C and rs1801133, C677T) to develop a “methylfolate score.” This is used to calculate how much choline you should aim for.

It then uses a polymorphism in the enzyme that helps make phosphatidylcholine, a specific form of choline that protects against fatty liver disease, promotes gall bladder health, and facilitates healthy digestion of dietary fats and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (PEMT, rs7946, 5465G>A). This is used to tell you the likelihood that missing your choline requirement will hurt these functions in your body.

Calculate Your Choline Requirement Now!

Alright, here's the link to the calculator again:

The Masterjohn Genetic Choline Calculator

When You're Done…

When you're done calculating your choline requirement, check out these links:

  • The Choline Database allows you to search and sort the choline contents of foods to help you meet your requirement.
  • My Vitamins and Minerals 101 course teaches you about choline in the context of all the other vitamins and minerals. It is free, designed for beginners, yet highly valued by nutrition professionals and experts. To see what other people are saying about it, check out the >1400 comments on the Facebook post.
  • Sign up for my Occasional Newsletter, and I will notify you every time I come out with a cool new tool like this.

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  1. Hi Chris,
    according to the calculator I need the equivalent of 9 egg yolks. But I don’t know how much choline is in one egg. I only saw that you mentioned that there is 680mg in 100g egg yolk. But how much is in ONE egg yolk? I’m trying to find out how much choline I have so supplement per day. But I don’t really know how much choline is in ONE egg yolk so I can calculate how much is in 9. Thank you very much.

  2. Chris, had you considered whether COMT++ people should avoid high amounts of substances that increase methylation, as this creates dopamine problem? I’m still trying to understand COMT++, but I did notice I was getting revved up brain symptoms with word and thoughts dropping when i was doing the following:
    Phosphatidylcholine supplements, Betaine hcl, Thorne b complex, added 2 eggs total per day, glycine, additional b1 and b6, and as soon as I added a small amount of liver it seemed worse

    no spinach, beets or wheat

    1. I would wonder about that, too. I’m ++ for COMT (therefore slow) and homozygous for Mthfr c677t – I’m taking seeking health’s BMinus, and folinic acid and Adeno b12. I also have compromised PEMT, so I take seeking health PC and eat as many eggs a day as I can. I’m also taking Mg and 5g of creatine each day. The latter seems to help take the pressure of methylation. I don’t take betaine/tmg, and eat pâté a few times a week. I think it’s fairly well established that slow COMT often doesn’t do well with methyl-B’s.

  3. A special note that biomedical researchers at MIT show that Choline could be a key protective therapeutic for people with the APOE4 gene at preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. Having APOE4 is the #1 risk factor for developing late onset Alzheimer’s, and half of people diagnosed with AD carry the gene. If you know you’re an APOE4 carrier, all the more reason to keep up stay on top of your daily choline requirements, imo.

  4. Hello! I converted my file to txt but it hasn’t worked. I took the test last year, but from a Brazilian company called genera. I think it’s the same kind of file, though. Anyway, hopefully in the future I’ll be able to use this. Best regards, Michelle Mendes.

  5. How secure is our data when using the app? We’re warned by 23andme about possible security problems when using third party services. I couldn’t find any security info for the choline calculator.

  6. My requirement was 9 egg yolks a day or even with the substitutes no way I get enough. So do I take a supplement? What’s the difference with phosphatidylcholine or the other phosphatidylserine? I see these supplements and don’t know what to take. Anyone know? Thank you so much to Chris to providing this info. May help my deteriorating health at my senior age.

    1. I need the equivalent of 8 myself, and have found that I’m getting there most days by eating from the listed foods (nuts, beans, cruciferous veggies, eggs, salmon, spinach, beets, wheat, quinoa are my regulars), as well as taking lecithin and beet powder in a green smoothie, along with a choline and inositol supplement, and a TMG supplement.

      I use Cronometer to track, but it does not presently count the betaine obtained from spinach, beets, wheat, quinoa, so you need to look those up seperately, maybe that will help?

  7. Wow my result was 8 egg yolks!
    Chris – whats the maximum result possible or that you’ve seen?
    Thanks for setting this up!

  8. Thank you SO MUCH Chris!!! This may actually save lives…
    Signed “7 year “health oriented vegan” who turns out to need 2x the normal choline requirement, and was not getting close to meeting the normal threshold”

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