Choline may help protect the brain from effects of ageing

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Choline is an essential nutrient that is utilized by the body to manufacture neurotransmitters and cell membrane constituents.  Choline is found in green leafy vegetables, fish, peanuts, organ meat, soybeans, yeast, wheat germ, and lecithin.  Rhoda Au, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed population data from the Framingham study, involving 1400 adults, ages 36 to 83 years, who completed a food survey and then underwent tests of memory and other cognitive abilities, including MRI brain imaging. The subjects who reported high choline intake performed better on the memory tasks, as compared to those reporting lower intake. Additionally, the researchers found that study participants with higher choline intake were less likely to show areas of white matter hyperintensity – an indicator of blood vessel disease in the brain. The study authors conclude that: “In this community-based population …  higher concurrent choline intake was related to better cognitive performance.”

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