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. 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.

  2. 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?

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

  4. 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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