Choline is a nutrient that is part of the messaging system of the brain and is involved in various brain activities. According to information from The Choline Information Council, choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is also suggested to have a significant role in halting cognitive decline.
Choline also functions as part of phosphatidylcholine, a structural component of the phospholipid membrane of all cells, including glial and neuronal cells. Before birth, choline is needed to help form the membranes of the nervous system. Choline may support the brain during aging and helps prevent changes in brain chemistry that may result in cognitive decline and failure. Last year, in the first update to the Nutrition Facts label for 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called for manufacturers to voluntarily label choline. In addition, the FDA established a reference daily intake for choline of 550 mg per day.
Egg Yolks And Phosphatidylcholine.
Egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamin D and are naturally high in choline. Even moderate egg intake has become associated with better cognitive performance if observational studies are to be believed. That association has come about because eggs are so rich in choline especially phosphatidylcholine.
Dietary Choline Intake And Reduction In Incident Dementia
The association between dietary choline intake with the risk of developing incident dementia has been examined in men of middle-age or older. The men were part of the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (Ylilauri et al., 2019).
In the study, 2,497 dementia-free man aged between 42 and 60 years old were examined between 1984 and 1989. A portion of the men performed a series of cognitive performance tests 4 years later. Levels of dementia including incident related and Alzheimer’s were considered. Dietary intake was assessed using a 4-day food questionnaire recorded at baseline. Over nearly 22 years, 337 men were diagnosed with dementia. Total choline intake had no association with the risk of incident dementia. However, both total choline and phosphatidylcholine intakes were associated with better performance in cognitive tests assessing frontal and temporal lobe functioning.
In this study, a higher phosphatidylcholine intake was associated with lower risk of incident dementia and better cognitive performance in men.
Ingredients Offering Choline
Rembrandt Foods offers a new egg yolk protein and phosphatidylcholine concentrate based on egg yolks. The new ingredient which has yet to be branded is a defatted egg yolk powder that contains approximately 57% protein and is a rich source of phospholipids. It contains approximately 21% phosphatidylcholine and 4%–5% phosphatidylethanolamine in roughly a 4:1 ratio. This unique ingredient is made using a solvent-free natural extraction technology and has a significantly reduced level of triglycerides.
Maija P T Ylilauri, Sari Voutilainen, Eija Lönnroos, Heli E K Virtanen, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Jukka T Salonen, Jyrki K Virtanen, Associations of dietary choline intake with risk of incident dementia and with cognitive performance: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 110, Issue 6, December 2019, Pages 1416–1423 (Article)