Association of Choline Intake with Blood Pressure and Effects of Its Microbiota-Dependent Metabolite Trimethylamine-N-Oxide on Hypertension

Guo-Dong He 1 2, Xiao-Cong Liu 1, An-Shang Lu 3, Ying-Qing Feng 1

PMID: 36082192 PMCID: PMC9436605 DOI: 10.1155/2022/9512401


Background: The association of total choline (TC) intake and its metabolite trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) with hypertension and blood pressure (BP) has not been elucidated.

Methods: For the population study, the association of TC intake with hypertension, as well as blood pressure, was determined through logistic along with multiple linear regression analysis from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007 to 2018, respectively. For the animal experimental study, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were assigned to the water group or water containing 333 mg/L or 1 g/L TMAO group. After 22 weeks treatment of TMAO, blood pressure measurement, echocardiography, and histopathology of the heart and arteries were evaluated.

Results: No significant association of TC with hypertension was observed but the trend for ORs of hypertension was decreased with the increased level of TC. Negative association between TC and BP was significant in quintile 4 and quintile 5 range of TC, and the negative trend was significant. The SHR-TMAO groups showed significant higher urine output levels in contrast with the SHR-water group. No difference of diastolic BP was observed, but there was a trend towards lower systolic BP with the increase doses of TMAO in the SHR group. The SHR 1 g/L TMAO rats had a remarkably lower systolic blood pressure than the SHR-water group. Echocardiography showed a diastolic dysfunction alleviating effect in the 1 g/L TMAO group.

Conclusion: High TC intake was not linked to elevated risk of hypertension. An inverse relationship of choline intake with systolic BP was observed. The mechanism for the beneficial effect of TC might be associated with the diuretic effect of its metabolite TMAO.