Choline – An Effective Medication to Combat Mental Decline
Medication or Nutrient?
Is choline an effective medication to combat mental decline in the elderly? In 1998, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) officially recognized choline as an essential nutrient. Our bodies require choline in the metabolism in the body, from cell structure to neurotransmitter synthesis. A lack of choline has an impact on diseases such as liver disease, atherosclerosis and neurological disorders.
Before eliminating egg yolks from your diet, consider this— Egg yolks provide the most concentrated source of choline in the American diet. Because of the immense importance of choline in a wide range of critical functions in the body, it would be wise to develop dietary guidelines for the consumption of choline-rich foods. Most noteworthy, egg yolks provide 680 mg. of choline per 100 grams. Beat that.
To get the same amount of choline found in a single egg, you’d need to consume 3 ¼ cups of nonfat milk or 3 ½ ounces of wheat germ. By adding one egg to the daily diet, the number of pregnant women meeting the AI would increase from 10% to more than 50% and for older men and women from 5% to 20%.
Choline to the Rescue
An inadequate supply of choline can result in muscle damage or fatty liver. But, when a sufficient supply of choline is provided, the damage is corrected. For optimal health, it’s vital to get adequate choline in your diet. The bad news is that NHANES data shows that the majority of the population consumes an inadequate amount of choline.
Therefore, it’s important to increase awareness of choline as an essential nutrient and to highlight it role throughout life, particularly in pregnant and lactating women. Choline concentration in amniotic fluid in the uterus is ten times greater than in maternal blood. That means huge amounts of choline are passed to the fetus across the placenta.
Pregnant and Nursing Moms
Pregnant mothers need extra supplementing of choline because the fetus depletes their store of it and nursing mothers need extra choline because human milk is rich in choline. This indicates the body’s demand for this vitally important nutrient.
We need choline for neurotransmitter synthesis, cell-membrane signaling, lipid transport, and methyl-group metabolism. It also produces the phospholipids phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine, choline plasmalogen, and sphingomyelin—essential components for all membranes. Choline is vital in the role of brain and memory development in the fetus and decreases the risk of the development of neural tube defects.
Choline reduces the risk of NTD’s, heart disease, fetal alcohol effects, spina bifida, anencephaly, etc., etc. and is vital for the development of the hippocampus. The importance of choline in the diet extends into adulthood and old age.
Alpha-GPC is a chemical. This chemical is released when a fatty acid (found in soy and other plants) breaks down. Additionally, it is used in Europe for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and stroke patients. Alpha-GPC seems to increase a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. This brain chemical is important for memory and learning functions.
Also, Alpha-GPC improves memory, thinking skills, and learning.