Choline and betaine food sources and intakes in Taiwanese

Da-Ming Chu, Mark L. Wahlqvist, Hsing-Yi Chang, Nai-Hua Yeh, Meei-Shyuan Lee

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    Choline and betaine are involved in several similar health-relevant metabolic pathways, but the foods sources are different. We have assessed their intakes (individual, sums and ratios) from a dominantly Chinese food cultural point of view. A representative free-living Taiwanese population aged 13-64 years was drawn from the Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (NAHSIT) 1993-1996. Food intake was derived from interviews as 24-hour recalls. The USDA database, with adaptations for Taiwan, provided choline and betaine food compositions. Major food contributors of these nutrients were identified and compared with data from the US Framingham offspring study. Mean and variance reduced median nutrient intakes were calculated. Top ten major food contributors of choline in Taiwan were eggs, pork, chicken, fish, soybean and its products, dark leafy vegetables, dairy, fruit, wheat products and light leafy vegetables in sequence. For betaine, the top ten were dark leafy vegetables, wheat products, fish, pork, bread, chicken, cake/cookies, grain-based alcoholic beverages, rice and its products and sauces. The main contributors of choline in Taiwan and the USA were, respectively, eggs and red meat; and for betaine, greens were similarly best contributor. The rankings of the main food contributors of choline and betaine differed substantially between Taiwan and the USA. The total daily intakes (mean±SE, mg) in Taiwan for choline were 372±19 (median=348) in men and 265±9 (median 261) for women; for betaine, values were 101±3 (median 93) in men and 78±8 (median 76) for women. These allow for health outcome considerations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)547-557
    Number of pages11
    JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Betaine
    • Choline
    • Eggs
    • Gender
    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Pork
    • Soy
    • USDA food composition
    • Wheat

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