Inositol and Choline

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I have grouped these two unrelated compounds together simply because they appear together in bodybuilding supplement preparations.

Inositol is a water soluble natural constituent of cells. Inositol supplements used to be very popular due to supposedly helping to get a more pronounced muscle pump. It draws water into cells, thus aiding cell volumising. There is no evidence that supplementing with inositol increases blood concentrations notably, nor that increased blood concentrations are taken up with water by cells.

Choline is essential for proper neurological function, and is a functional component of cell membranes. It also helps transport fat from the liver. It is manufactured in the body from the amino acids methionine and serine. It is unclear whether our bodies are able to produce enough, but as it is abundant in food there is no real issue.

Phosphatidylcholine is a particularly biologically active form of choline used in medicine to treat liver dysfunction, and to reduce heart disease risk (Brook, et al 1986; Wojcicki, et al; 1995). Lysophosphatidylcholine is another form of choline, and is a food additive in bread. It is sold as a supplement for livestock as it increases nutrient uptake helping them to gain weight more easily. Hence lysophosphatidylcholine is also sold as a bodybuilding supplement, but I would recommend avoiding it.

Both choline and inositol are sold as a bodybuilding supplements on their own or in preparations together. I can see no use for bodybuilders to supplement with inositol, choline or its variations, although some MRPs and other supplements do contain them as ingredients.

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