Your to-do list keeps growing. You can’t seem to work as fast as your colleagues. You’re always misplacing your phone.
If you’ve noticed a significant lapse in concentration and you’re struggling to manage your daily demands, it could be caused by insufficient labels of choline in your diet.
To learn what choline is and how it could improve your quality of life, read on.
What is Choline?
Choline is an essential nutrient that’s critical for brain development and function . Choline also impacts many other processes - it’s involved in neurotransmitter production, keeps your cell membranes healthy, moves fats to where they need to be, and promotes metabolic balance.
Your liver can make a small amount of choline, however, the majority of it comes from your diet.
What Foods Are High in Choline?
Some foods that are rich in choline include eggs, soybeans, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc), beef, and chicken liver.
Unfortunately, recent studies suggest that most of the North American population is not getting close to enough choline in their diet. This could cause mental illness, stress and even preterm birth for pregnant women .
In addition to food, choline also comes in a variety of supplemental forms:
- Choline bitartrate
How Does Choline Impact the Brain?
Choline is critical for producing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and for keeping neuronal membranes happy and healthy.
Acetylcholine is synthesized in a specific type of neuron, called a “cholinergic neuron”. To make acetylcholine, you need 2 precursors: choline and acetyl coenzyme (shortened to acetyl CoA).
The majority of choline is provided by your diet, while acetyl CoA is made from glucose in your mitochondria.
After ingesting choline, it passes through the blood-brain barrier (BBB: the wall in the brain that decides what goes in and out). Once it’s in your brain an enzyme called choline acetyltransferase converts acetyl CoA and choline into acetylcholine.
Maintaining healthy levels of acetylcholine in the brain is critical for memory function, supporting attention spans, cognition, and overall brain health.
The benefits of choline don’t stop there.
Choline can also be converted into phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine is a fatty molecule essential for cell membrane health.
Phosphatidylcholine can then be dismantled to provide choline to the acetylcholine pathway. Your neurons fluctuate between these two reactions, as needed.
Why Choline Enhances Brain Function
Several studies show that a diet rich in choline, or choline supplementation, can enhance neuroprotective and cognitive functions . Choline alone can enhance acetylcholine levels in the brain, a critical requirement for working memory and focus.
Choline is Critical for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are at higher risk for choline deficiency. Studies looking at choline intake during pregnancy found that the children  of mothers who had a diet rich in choline displayed better scores in visuospatial memory and non-verbal intelligence.
When observing different biomarkers in pregnant women after choline supplementation, the placental cord had lower levels of cortisol - a stress hormone that’s detrimental to unborn babies. This suggests that choline could help negate the adverse effects of prenatal stress.
Choline is Critical for the Elderly
Choline has positive health benefits throughout all stages of life. It could even compensate for cognitive decline in healthy elderly.
As you age, there is a natural decline in cell membrane integrity. The lipids derived from phosphatidylcholine help to keep your cell membranes together.
Choline supplementation can enhance cognitive functions  as well as preserve phosphatidylcholine levels. This suggests that choline supplementation could compensate for cognitive decline in a healthy aging population as well as exert neuroprotective properties.
Do Healthy Adults need Choline?
There is strong evidence that choline supplementation can enhance cognition in healthy adults. The benefits include improved memory  and improved visuomotor abilities  such as throwing a ball and drawing.
Similar to Tyrosine, healthy adults who are deficient in choline will experience the highest cognitive benefits from choline supplementation. The theory is that high performers already have optimal levels of acetylcholine, while low-performers have lower levels, thus decreasing cognitive performance.
Choline Bitartrate vs. Other Forms of Choline
There’s an ongoing debate about which form of choline supplement is the best. Many hold the opinion that choline bitartrate is an inferior supplement since it’s less expensive and not as well absorbed as other forms.
The truth is that choline bitartrate is the most globally researched of all the forms, and displays the most generalized effect.
Other forms, like CDP-Choline and Alpha-GPC, have shown promising results but these studies analyzed a very narrow population - low cognitive performers and the elderly.
Based on current scientific literature , choline bitartrate provides several benefits including improvement in visual-motor coordinator, cognitive function, overall health, and possibly even neuroprotection in the elderly.
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By also including the key nutrient, choline, MindGain’s proprietary formula combines the essential ingredients brains need to improve performance in complex tasks while lowering stress levels.
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 Gleaton, V. (n.d.). Studies Explore Links Between Stress, Choline Deficiency, Preterm Births, and Mental Health Issues. [online] news.cuanschutz.edu. Available at: https://news.cuanschutz.edu/medicine/choline-deficiency-preterm-births [Accessed 25 Jul. 2021].
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 Boeke, C.E., Gillman, M.W., Hughes, M.D., Rifas-Shiman, S.L., Villamor, E. and Oken, E. (2013). Choline Intake During Pregnancy and Child Cognition at Age 7 Years. American Journal of Epidemiology, 177(12), pp.1338–1347.
 Babb, S.M., Wald, L.L., Cohen, B.M., Villafuerte, R.A., Gruber, S.A., Yurgelun-Todd, D.A. and Renshaw, P.F. (2002). Chronic citicoline increases phosphodiesters in the brains of healthy older subjects: an in vivo phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Psychopharmacology, [online] 161(3), pp.248–254. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12021827/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2021].
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 Naber, M., Hommel, B. and Colzato, L.S. (2015). Improved human visuomotor performance and pupil constriction after choline supplementation in a placebo-controlled double-blind study. Scientific Reports, 5(1).