Right now your brain may be starving…
It may lack a vital nutrient you need to think and remember. And unless you do something about it, it will probably get worse.
The good news is you can take simple steps to halt this process and preserve your clarity of mind. Today I’ll show you how.
This vital brain booster is choline. Your brain uses it to make acetylcholine, one of your key neurotransmitters – the chemicals your brain needs to transmit signals and messages.
Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter of memory and muscle stimulation. It’s responsible for muscle control, sleep, arousal, attention, memory, intelligence and mood. Your brain needs a constant, rich supply of choline to keep all of these functions going strong.
Without acetylcholine you can’t string thoughts together or have full access to your memory. So you can imagine not having enough can lead to real problems. I’m not just talking about forgetting your keys, although that can be an early symptom of choline deficiency.
Research shows people with a variety of mental illnesses are severely lacking in choline. The brain scans of people suffering from both mild cognitive impairment and full-blown Alzheimer’s showed these diseases are directly related to low choline levels.
But the news is not all bad… Several recent studies found you can slow and even reverse the onset of dementia and improve your memory and attention by getting more choline.
I recommend you do just that. If you wait too long the consequences are serious.
We’ve known for years that if your brain is starved of choline, it starts to “steal” choline from other sources, like your cell membranes. This process is called “auto-cannibalism.”
When this happens your brain starts “eating itself alive” to maintain daily functions. But over time, the problems just get worse. It’s one of the reasons why you see a rapid decline in brainpower among older folks—and this process is behind the onset of depression, poor sleep, Alzheimer’s, and worse.
So what can you do to stop this from happening?
The first thing is to make sure you get enough choline-rich foods in your diet. Here’s a list for easy reference:
COMMON FOOD CHOLINE – CONTENT (MG/100 G OF FOOD)
Eggs (whole, cooked) – 272.6
Egg yolk (raw, fresh) – 682.4
Chicken liver (all kinds, simmered) – 290.1
Turkey liver (cooked, simmered) – 220.2
Pork (cured, bacon, cooked, pan-fried) -130.8
Spices (mustard seed, yellow) – 122.6
Almonds – 52.0
Cauliflower (cooked, boiled, drained) – 39.1
Artichokes (cooked, boiled, drained) – 34.4
Green peas (frozen, cooked) – 27.6
Spinach (whole leaf, frozen, microwaved) – 27.5
Red cabbage (cooked, boiled, drained) – 21.5
Source: USDA Database for the Choline Content of Common Foods, March 2004
As you can see, eggs and organ meats are the best sources of choline.
By the way… don’t be put off by raw eggs. The eggs you get from your local big-chain grocery stores are safe to eat raw. I eat raw eggs all the time. If you add them to a protein shake you don’t even notice them.
Men need more choline than women per day, about 550 mg compared to 425 mg for women.
But as you as age, you need more. I usually put my older patients on as much as 1,500 mg per day to get the maximum brain-boosting benefit.
To get the choline I give my patients, click HERE. (Try it in the morning… it will give you a better boost than coffee.)
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1 Herholz et al. “Acetylcholine esterase activity in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.” European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 2008. 35(Supplement):1619-7070.
2 Kuo et al. “Focusing Effect of Acetylcholine on Neuroplasticity in the Human Motor Cortex.” Journal of Neuroscience. 2007. 27(52):14442-14447.
3 Wurtman, RJ. “Choline metabolism as a basis for the selective vulnerability of cholinergic neurons.” Trends in Neuroscience. 1992. 15(4):117-22.