Choline is an organic compound and a water soluble essential nutrient, similar to vitamin B, which is necessary for good health and neurological development. The compound plays a vital role in cognition and memory, learning, mood, prenatal development, muscle and organ function. It may also reduce the risk of chronic health conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart and liver disease. Because most people do not receive adequate amounts of this essential nutrient in their daily diet, they may need to take supplements to meet their nutritional requirements.
Choline the Essential Nutrient
Choline is essential for maintaining good health. It also plays a role in the production of acetylcholine, which is necessary for normal brain development, memory and muscle control. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the somatic, autonomic, peripheral and central nervous systems. Anti-Alzheimer’s drugs operate by reducing acetylcholinesterase and increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain. According to studies conducted at the University of North Carolina, rats given nutritional supplements containing choline exhibited long term improvement in cognitive function, learning and memory. The supplement has a positive effect on maintaining optimum brain health, the reversal of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other dysfunctions associated with age. In addition to improving learning and memory, the supplement may also boost mood, relieve anxiety and reduce insomnia. According to Alternatives and Prevention of Disease written by Dr. Mary J. Martin, use of the memory enhancing nutrient can assist people who suffer from depression and patients with mild dementia. Besides good brain health, choline also plays a role in the production of betaine, which lowers homocysteine levels, and improves cardiovascular health. The supplement is also essential for healthy liver function and may prevent some types of cancer.
Benefits and Brain Health
• Memory and Learning
• Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk
• Reduces Dementia
• Positive Mood
• Reduces Depression
• Improves Brain Function
• Reduces Insomnia
• Reduces Anxiety
Nutritional Sources and Deficiency
Choline is available from dietary sources including eggs, beef, and organ meats like liver, tofu, broccoli, peanuts, grains and legumes. Because many people avoid high fat foods like eggs and red meat, they may not receive an adequate amount of this vital nutrient in their diet. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 98 percent of post-menopausal women failed to consume the recommended amount of choline in their diet increasing their risk of heath complications. Nutrient deficiencies are common in people on restricted diets, vegetarians, athletes, older adults, people who consume large amounts of alcohol and pregnant women. Although there is no recommended daily allowance of the nutritional supplement, the Food and Nutrition Board recommends adults consume between 425 milligrams and 550 milligrams per day.
Choline is available in supplements for people who are unable to get adequate amounts of the nutrient in their daily diet. Pregnant women, elderly adults and people on restricted diets may need to use nutritional supplements to maintain their health. Whether you are an elderly adult, a vegetarian, an expectant mother, an athlete or just someone concerned about diet and good health, supplementing your diet can be beneficial. Medical professionals agree that choline is essential for cognitive development, memory and learning and may benefit people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and some mood disorders.