Choline is a key nutrient required for brain health, mental work, and synaptic plasticity. Buy choline.
It is used in your brain both as a precursor to acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in memory, and as a component in the maintenance of healthy cell membranes.
We get choline from certain foods in our diet, but about 90% of the population does not get the recommended rate per day.
Choline deficiency can severely impair your memory and motivational functions, make it difficult to concentrate, and even affect your mood.
Supplements such as Choline bitartrate arba is a great source of this nutrient and can improve your memory, learning, logical thinking and concentration skills.
Choline intake is especially important later in life, when lower acetylcholine production can lead to cognitive decline, senile dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Choline?
Choline (2-hydroxy-N, N, N-trimethyl-ethanaminium) is a water-soluble nutrient closely related to B-complex vitamins.
Although our body naturally makes up a small amount of this compound, we need external sources from our diet and supplements to meet our daily needs.
This essential nutrient is used in our liver to prevent the formation of fat, but its most important role is to contribute to the work of certain brain systems.
Choline is used to develop and maintain brain cell health, particularly by improving the signaling capacity, structural integrity, and fluid formation of neuronal membranes.
According to the database of natural medicines, Choline is used for “liver diseases, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, hypercholesterolemia, depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and schizophrenia, delayed endurance sports, prevention of hunters, cerebral ataxia, complex partial seizures, asthma and as a supplement in infant formulas. "
Choline requirements have been found to be particularly high in infants who develop in the womb when about 50 neurons are generated per second.
One animal study showed that pregnant mothers who received a higher dose of choline had offspring with higher IQ than those who consumed a lower amount.
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The Role of Acetylcholine in the Brain
Another major choline response is to promote cholinergic activity by synthesizing acetylcholine.
There are about 86 neurons in your brain, and they all communicate through the transmission of chemical signalers called neurotransmitters.
Acetylcholine is one of the neurotransmitters most commonly involved in the processes involved in memory formation, maintenance, reversal, mathematical and verbal reasoning, planning, and attention.
It builds up in your brain when an acetate molecule combines with a choline molecule, but if there is not enough choline in your system, it can lead to acetylcholine deficiency.
If your neurons are high in acetylcholine, your thoughts may seem clearer and your cognitive activity has improved.
Signs of lower acetylcholine levels: difficulty remembering new information and remembering old, lower mental energy and a characteristic feeling of “brain fog”.
This neurochemical compound is also related to the plasticity of your brain, which determines how easily your neurons can make new connections. Memories are thought to be stored when a new connection (called a synapse) is established between two neurons through a process called long-term potential.
However, as we age, our brains become less plastic and fewer of these new connections are formed - changes that are usually predicted due to lower acetylcholine activity. This is especially evident in the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease, where acetylcholine levels are very low.
In fact, most drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease in the cholinergic system are designed to try to increase the stimulation of acetylcholine receptors in neurons.
Imagine that 10 percent. People over the age of 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but if you survive for more than 85 years, your chances of developing the disorder increase by up to 50 percent.
Until a successful reversal of the damage caused by this disease is enough, it may be possible to prevent or slow down degeneration by ensuring that there is enough choline in your system.
The benefits of choline supplements are known to boost brain health and improve intelligence. Clinical studies have long found that enough of these nutrients makes it easier to remember later in life.
The following is a list of positive effects reported in the Cholin reviews:
- Significantly better memory
- Information recall improves
- Better learning and plasticity
- Increased neuronal communication in the brain
- Improves mental energy and reduces fatigue
- More creative thinking and faster problem solving
- Improved logical arguments
- Improved verbal communication
- Better focus and concentration
- Faster reaction and thought processing
- Improved mood
- Insomnia prevention and improved REM sleep
- Headache prevention
- Decreased symptoms of ADHD and ADD
Studies to increase awareness of the benefits of choline have been largely unconvincing. While some studies show benefits for memory, mental activity, and sports activities, other studies do not.
More final studies on the benefits of two specific choline supplements, Alpha GPC and Citicoline (CDP choline), have been performed. These natural phospholipid forms of choline show better bioavailability and better blood-brain barrier crossing potential than lower quality sources, which may explain the increased efficacy.
One study investigating the effects of choline in rats found that this nutrient improves acetylcholine synthesis in the hippocampal and cerebral band. These areas are closely related to memory and awareness.
When acetylcholine was artificially depleted by cholinergic neurons, an external source of this nutrient was found to increase the ability of these neurons to synthesize acetylcholine and neutralize depletion.
This was done by increasing the uptake of lipid-bound choline molecules in the brain rather than by increasing the amount of free choline.
Another study found that chronic (long-term) use of rat choline supplementation increased the number of receptor binding sites for acetylcholine in the brain.
After 30 days of dietary supplementation with choline chloride, rats showed a higher density of nicotinic acetylcholine binding sites in neurons in the brain. This means that the use of choline supplementation actually increased the number of acetylcholine neurotransmitter receptors in rats.
Another study looked at the effects of a combination of choline and other popular brain supplements: uridine and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, omega-3 fatty acid).
In this study, the researchers found that this combination increased the levels of synaptic membranes and dendritic spindles in the rodent brain. This result suggests that these three supplements may enhance the growth of new nerve structures in the brain and promote neuroplasticity.
Other experiments showed improved spatial memory when choline was administered to rats. Many of these studies have focused on the effects of choline before and after childbirth.
While these results are significant, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of choline supplements to improve memory and cognitive function in humans. Choline supplements in the U.S. are just health supplements, and the FDA has not approved choline as a drug to prevent or treat any condition.
What can you do to ensure that you get enough of this nutrient in your diet? The appropriate daily intake of choline is 550 mg for men and 425 mg for women, but to boost your intelligence, it is usually recommended to consume more than this amount.
This is because most of the foods you eat do not fully absorb choline or do not reach your brain. 2004 The USDA has conducted an analysis of the choline content of various foods that make up a typical North American diet.
Some choline-rich foods include beef liver, eggs, hot beans, beef, and cauliflower. Paradoxically, in many cases, if you consume food as your sole source of choline, you will end up going beyond certain dietary recommendations for cholesterol and calorie intake to get enough of these nutrients.
Many people feel the need to take choline supplements to meet their daily requirements or to be used as cognitive enhancers. But when it comes to intellectual power, not all types of choline are the same.
You can purchase choline sources in several different formats that are different from intellectual function.
Higher quality sources have been found to have better acetylcholine conversion, and some lower quality dietary supplements may give high doses of choline, but in reality they will not be converted to acetylcholine.
It depends on how your body processes and gets different types of supplements. While some of these supplements are highly bioavailable, others may not be fully absorbed into the bloodstream.
Another point of differentiation is whether this supplement can cross the blood-brain barrier. It is a physiological wall designed to separate circulating blood from the central nervous system and brain tissue.
For any supplement to be effective in promoting brain function, it should easily overcome this barrier in order to occupy brain cells. Only a small class of substances can cross this barrier, which is part of our body’s natural defense system.
For example, acetylcholine itself cannot cross this barrier, but it must be synthesized in the brain. This is why you need to use acetylcholine precursors instead of directly taking supplements containing this compound.
While there are certain choline supplements that naturally penetrate the blood-brain barrier, others may be less effective and therefore not ideal for cognitive enhancement purposes. You will find all the choline supplements at the bottom of the article.
Choline Dosage And Side Effects
Choline is considered a safe nutrient, with very few side effects and serious risk factors. The US Food and Drug Administration has been granted GRAS status (generally considered safe). This means that according to FDA standards, it has been properly proven to be safe under the intended condition of its use.
Natural medicines also prove that choline is safe when used according to appropriate dosing recommendations. However, excessive doses (greater than 3,5 g per day) are considered potentially unsafe.
The right dose depends on many different factors, including age, weight, gender, and personal sensitivity. It is always advisable to talk to your healthcare professional to determine the best dose for your personal needs. The following dosing recommendations are for general guidance only and your personal dose may vary.
In children, choline is considered safe at appropriate doses. The recommended dose for children 1 to 8 years of age is less than 1 g per day. For children 9 to 13 years of age, the maximum recommended dose is 2 grams per day. For children 14 to 18 years of age, the maximum dose should be 3 grams of choline per day.
Choline is also considered likely to be safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding women. According to the database of natural medicines, for most people aged 19 years and older, doses up to 3,5 g per day are unlikely to cause any negative side effects.
Choline is generally very well tolerated at appropriate doses. In some cases, diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, high blood pressure and excessive sweating may occur if you exceed the recommended dose of choline. The higher the dose, the higher the risk of adverse effects.
Additional adverse side effects have been reported: decreased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, constipation, appetite suppression and anorexia, dizziness, agitation, increased sweating, insomnia and headache. These side effects are rare when the right doses are taken, and can usually only occur at daily doses above 3,5 g.
Patients diagnosed with trimethylaminuria, Parkinson's disease, or kidney or liver disease should not be treated with high doses.
Some people develop a symptom called fish odor syndrome due to an individual’s inability to metabolize trimethylamine, which is obtained by eating foods with choline. You can avoid these side effects by using a high quality additive such as Choline Bitartrate or Citicoline by reducing the dose to the recommended dose.