Essential Brain Nourishment: Choline

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Essential Brain Nourishment: Choline

Choline is a B-vitamin-like nutrient that is required for the synthesis of essential components of nerve and brain cell membranes. In humans, the rate of synthesis of these components is governed by the availability of choline in the brain, which itself is determined by dietary choline intake. When incoming supplies of choline are inadequate, existing neuronal cell membranes will be “cannibalized” for their choline – obviously a losing proposition in the long run. In contrast, dietary supplementation with choline prevents such avoidable loss of brain cell integrity. The current Recommended Dietary Allowances for choline range from 125 mg/day for neonatal infants to 425 mg/day for adults and 550 mg/day for lactating women. Daily intakes of up to 3500 mg are safe.17

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Essential Brain Nourishment: Glycerophosphocholine (GPC)

References:
17. Institute of Medicine. Choline. In: Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin and Choline. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1998, pp. 390-422.


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