75% of the population have variations in choline metabolism gene that affects the levels of choline that is produced in the body, and is closely related to brain health, lipid transportation and not so unimportant for athletes, sport performance and recuperation! Those 75% of population have the ability to boost their sport performance and recuperation by smart and easy support of the choline pathway.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient that belongs to the B-vitamin family. Choline is an essential but often overlooked nutrient involved in many processes in our bodies. To name a few: metabolism, brain health, neurotransmitter synthesis, liver health & lipid transport and methylation.
Our bodies can produce choline internally with the PEMT enzyme (phosphatidylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase), but the production of choline via this enzyme is not enough for most people (especially men, as the activity of this enzyme is boosted by oestrogen). The estimation is that men with normal PEMT activity need around 550mg choline a day from an external source (nutrition).
Very common mutations (variations) in the PEMT gene significantly lower the own production of choline. As choline Is used to build the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and this neurotransmitter is very important for muscle contraction, you can guess the influence it can have on performance. But the influence is even bigger on recuperation. Our body ‘knows’ the importance of this neurotransmitter, especially in physical activity, and will scavenge the choline from other the molecules that are also built with it (more specific phosphatidylcholine or PC), to make more of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This PC is found in membranes of human cells and it case of a shortage of choline, the choline is mainly stolen from PC in muscle cell membranes. This results in higher muscle breakdown, and can often be seen in a blood panel by increased biomarkers for muscle breakdown.
As low levels of acetylcholine also effect circadian rhythm and sleep badly, you have a triple negative effect for performance and recuperation.
Many other genes -like this PEMT gene- have common variations that impact performance, but when known can be easily compensated for!
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