ESCONDIDO, Calif., June, 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Choline is critical to overall health and healthy cognitive function.  This essential nutrient has an impact on the brain throughout our lives.  Choline intake early in life supports the brain as it ages, preventing some conditions that result in cognitive decline and dementia.
According to Dr. Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition, and Director of the Nutrition Research Institute at University of North Carolina School of Medicine, “Choline is the nutrient that we never knew humans needed until 1998. One of the important functions of choline is to help your brain work.”
Choline is important to the communication systems for cells within the brain and the rest of the body.  “Choline is a very important molecule used by the brain to make a messenger chemical called acetylcholine,” Dr. Zeisel says.
The mental and intellectual development of children is currently a top 10 important health concerns for American mothers according to HealthFocus International. Choline is needed before birth to increase the number of stem cells that add to the pool of nerve cells that are available throughout life.  Insufficient choline in the fetal brain adversely affects the development of the hippocampus and cortex, the areas of the brain that regulate higher thinking and memory, including visual memory – the kind children use for mental math and many adults employ to remember a new route after driving it only once.  Research shows improved intelligence and memory in children aged 7 who were born to mothers with higher levels of choline intake during pregnancy.
More than 90 percent of the U.S. population does not meet the Adequate Intake recommendation for choline —550 mg/day for men and 425 for women.  Choline-rich foods are eggs and liver, but plant sources are relatively low in choline.  For those not sure they are getting enough in the diet, it may be important to supplement the diet with choline.  According to the 2013 Gallup Study of Nutrient Knowledge and Consumption, two-thirds (66%) of consumers believe supplements are effective at preventing or delaying the onset of normal age related memory loss, 14% extremely effective, and 52% somewhat effective.
For details about choline, cognitive function and informational videos featuring Dr. Steven Zeisel, visit The Choline Information Council website: