There are a lot of nutritional supplements available in the market to help you increase cognitive functions and ace ahead in this highly competitive world. However, it is quite important to also include the food items that can stimulate your cognitive functions as a part of your daily diet. Research and scientific studies are ongoing regarding the food items that cater to the same purpose.
But do you know the role of choline in the development and improvisation of cognitive functions in human beings? If not, this article will help you understand choline as a nutritional element in detail, the importance of including the food items having choline in our diet, the dietary sources from where we can have choline, the role of choline in the cognitive functions of a human being, and the other health benefits of choline as well.
What Is Choline?
Choline is a nutrient just like other vitamins and minerals. The human body is also capable of producing some choline on its own. The liver is the organ in the human body that is capable of synthesizing this nutrient even though in minor quantities. However, that is not enough for the daily requirement quantity of your body.
Hence it is important for you to consume it through food. You can easily get choline from food sources such as beef, chicken liver, salmon fish, eggs, and so on. However, it is found that most of us fail to consume this vital nutrient as per this required quantity.
Till 1998, choline had not been identified as a vital nutrient required for the smooth and healthy functioning of the human body. But after that, it started gaining prominence in the nutritional industry and people started seeking rich food sources of choline for their daily consumption.
Choline is water soluble in nature, but it cannot be classified into the group of minerals and vitamins. However, some have misunderstood this nutrient as Vitamin B on account of some major similarities with the same.
This nutrient influences the liver functions, brain development, muscle health, metabolism, and even the nervous system of your body.
Choline And Improvement In Cognitive Functions
Choline is closely related to brain health and cognitive functions related to it. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter found in the human body. For the body to synthesize this particular transmitter, choline becomes the most essential nutrient. This neurotransmitter is quite decisive in the process of regulation of brain functions such as memory, intelligence, and mood.
So when the production of this neurotransmitter reduces, it affects all the three mentioned above. DNA for brain development and functions is also related to this nutrient called choline.
Recent studies have also succeeded in establishing a valid relationship between choline and memory. People who have consumed the required amount of choline on a daily basis have shown more capacities to retain long-term as well as short-term verbal memories.
Since most of these studies have been conducted in people approaching old age, the effect of choline consumption could be proved in the most convincing manner. One of the shocking results revealed from another study associating choline with brain functions is the remedial potency of this nutrient against the most destructive brain disease, Alzheimer’s.
However, it is also important to note that, people who were suffering from dementia did not show any significant improvement even with the regular consumption of choline.
Consuming choline during pregnancy may also help aid healthy brain development in the fetus.
After birth, many children have shown better visual memory capacities than the kids whose mothers did not consume choline during their pregnancy journey. An improved mental health can also be expected from the regular consumption of choline.
Apart from all these, it may also help fight cancer, neural tube diseases, liver infections, and so on.
While elaborating on the nutritional benefits of this particular nutritional element, it is also important to take care of the quantities in which we consume it on a daily basis. Just like a majority of the other beneficial things on this planet, consuming too much choline can also do more harm than good.
If you are an adult, the only permissible limit is 3500mg per day. Even if you can’t get enough choline from food, there is also nothing wrong with taking choline supplements by getting your physician to be aware of it.
Choline, a key nutrient in foods like beef and eggs, is vital for cognitive function. It supports neurotransmitter synthesis, impacting memory and mood. Adequate intake correlates with improved verbal memory, especially in older individuals and during pregnancy, aids fetal brain development. Excessive intake may have adverse effects. Moderation is advised for overall cognitive health.