You want to boost your memory in a safe and healthy way? A smart nutrient called choline can help you.
The key brain neurotransmitter for memory is acetylcholine. Without this chemical our brain can’t communicate. It plays an important role in memory formation, mental clarity and learning ability. To stimulate the production of acetylcholine our brain needs the precursor choline.
But how can choline effect brain benefits?
The most important effect is the enhanced neuroplasticity of the brain which is influenced by acetylcholine. Neuroplasticity means that the neurons can form new connections through synapses. This happens when we make new experiences or new logical connections. These connections help us to remember things we have learned.
For all this we need an adequate level of acetylcholine which goes along with a healthy amount of choline. Thus, increasing the level of choline can enhance our memory performance.
The results of a study of Poly and her colleagues show a relation between memory and dietary choline. 1391 subjects completed a food-frequency questionnaire administered from 1991 to 1995 and another from 1998 to 2001. Higher choline intake was associated with enhanced performance in verbal and visual memory.
In another interesting study researchers at Florida International University investigated whether choline can enhance older people’s memory. 41 subjects between the ages of 50 and 81 took 500 mg of choline every day for 5 weeks. After that period the group that got the choline supplementation improved in memory tests (e.g. recollection) to a greater extent and reported fewer memory lapses than the other group who did not receive choline supplements.
Even though choline can help to enhance memory in adults, the best benefits of choline supplementation are gained when choline is ingested before the brain development hasn’t finished yet. There are some stunning effects of the supplementation of choline during pregnancy on the offspring. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina showed that choline supplementation during pregnancy leads to superior brains for the infant rats coming along with more neuronal connections which leads consequently to a better learning ability and memory.
So let us answer the question how shrimps can help you to enhance your cognitive performance. The point is that our body can only synthesize a small amount of choline itself. It is necessary that we ingest the majority of our required choline with our daily diet but about 90% of the population does not get the recommended amount per day. As we learned, choline is highly needed for proper mental function. That means that you can influence your level of choline by the daily food you eat.
Eating protein rich food like shrimps, eggs, chicken or for example broccoli and peanuts increase your dose of choline and therefore also your brain level of acetylcholine. That’s how you help your brain to communicate better. The recommended daily doses of choline are 550 milligrams for men and 425 milligrams for women.
So think about having some shrimps for breakfast before your next study marathon or challenging task at work to enjoy the brain benefits of choline. But for those who don’t prefer having shrimps for breakfast: with two large eggs for breakfast you almost cover the daily requirement as well. And there are also opportunities to buy supplement choline in capsules, powder or pills.