Government recommendations for choline, a fat-soluble essential nutrient, are too low, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recruited 57 adults, including 26 men, 16 premenopausal women and 15 postmenopausal women to take 550 mg of choline—the current U.S. government Adequate Intake (AI)—for 10 days, then less than 50 mg of choline per day with or without a random dose of 400 mcg of folic acid per day for up to 42 days. While on the low choline dose, 39 of the participants developed fatty liver or leaky-muscle damage. Doctors also noted that six men developed these signs while on the 550 mg AI dose. Overall, the AI recommended dose was not sufficent to prevent fatty liver or leaky-muscle damage in 19 participants or 33%. Folic acid did not alter the results. Doctors suspect a defective gene that is prevalent in the population and are continuing studies. Rich sources of choline include egg yolks, organ meats and the supplement lecithin.