Choline can help improve brain function

Brain boost

Some new research shows that one little-known nutrient can help improve brain function and may even protect against memory loss. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine published this study, involving nearly 1,400 subjects, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

All the participants were between 36 and 83 years old and were dementia-free at the outset of the study. They all completed detailed food intake questionnaires, had MRI brain scans, and took several memory and brain function tests. The researchers discovered that the subjects with the best scores on the tests also got more choline in their diet. And the MRI brain scans showed that people getting more choline had less “white matter hypersensitivity,” which indicates blood vessel damage that can lead to cognitive decline.

Choline is one of the B-complex vitamins, and this is just one more example of the already solid research linking it with brain function. (In fact, that’s one of the very reasons I made sure it was part of my Smart Daily supplement.)

While there’s no miracle pill to prevent Alzheimer’s, choline sure seems to be a front-runner, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting plenty of it. Lots of foods contain choline, including eggs, chicken, saltwater fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), spinach, avocado, Brussels sprouts, and almonds. But since the choline content of most foods is relatively small, it’s also a good idea to boost your levels even further with a supplement. I recommend 80 to 150 mg per day.