Healthy food is considered one of the top ways to boost your health. This includes cutting down your risk of developing several diseases including cardiovascular health concerns and cognitive ailments such as Alzheimer’s.
One of the chief ways to boost your brain health is by eating foods that are great at nourishing the brain and keeping damage due to free radicals and inflammation at bay. Now that the role of essential nutrients in your food is established, let’s focus on what research says about the one nutrient that can trim Alzheimer’s risk.
Choline – The Nutrient That Can Save Lives From the Degenerative Disorder
Findings from an animal study published in Molecular Psychiatry have learned that choline can help offset the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe and the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, AZ made their investigations on mice.
They gave two generations of the mice choline supplements to learn the impact of maternal choline supplementation on the offspring’s brain development. The researchers learned the effect of choline supplementation extended to multiple generation even though the descendants’ diet did not have the nutrient.
What’s more, the females developed fewer brain changes that were linked with Alzheimer’s. Plus, they showed an improved memory skill in contrast with the mice that were not supplemented with choline.
How Is Choline So Useful For Your Brain Health?
Choline is a vital nutrient that the body needs for several functions. These include a role in the early development of a child’s brain and the preservation of cell structure. Your body can make some of the choline.
However, you need to meet your body’s extra needs from dietary sources. Some of these sources include meat, eggs, fish, and dairy items as the primary sources of the nutrient. Besides, you can also get more choline from cruciferous vegetables, seeds, nuts, soybeans, and whole grains.
A deficiency of this nutrient correlates with the failure of developing fetuses to fully meet anticipated milestones such as babbling and walking. This study, however, proves that even if you have the recommended amount of choline, supplementing it can help deliver greater benefits.
In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, choline helps deal with homocysteine. What happens is that your risk of the brain disorder increases when there are high levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid. It encourages the development of beta-amyloid proteins and chips in brain tissue deterioration.
Choline can help slow down this brain decline and prevent brain tissue damage by converting homocysteine into methionine, which is a beneficial substance. Another plus point is that choline reduces the activity of microglia cells.
These cells help to clear the waste material in the brain. However, in the event of Alzheimer’s, these microglia cells become hyperactive and result in inflammation, which kills brain cells.
Take home message
The greatest takeaway is that choline is a vital nutrient for brain health. Try to have as much of this nutrient as possible from natural food sources.