Posted on Dec 27, 2011, 6 a.m.
Increased dietary intake of choline – found in green leafy vegetables, fish, peanuts, organ meat, soybeans and other foods – may improve cognitive performance and protect against memory loss.
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.”
Coreyann Poly, Joseph M Massaro, Sudha Seshadri, Philip A Wolf, Eunyoung Cho, Rhoda Au, et al. “The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort.” Am J Clin Nutr December 2011, 94: 1584-1591.