The Brain-Boosting Nutrient Nobody Is Talking About…But Should Be!
Mainstream researchers are concerned about the increasing older adult population in the United States and the rise of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). For example, the projected increase in AD is expected to increase in the United States from 5.1 to 13.2 million by 2050! Even though our medical system is dominated by pharmaceutical research, there is thankfully research being done on dietary influence for the promotion of healthy brain aging.
Preserve Your Brain with Nutrition
In a study published in the journal frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers measured blood levels of the nutrient phosphatidylcholine (PC) and assessed brain structure with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 72 healthy adults between the ages of 65 and 75. They found higher blood levels of PC were linked to “better cognitive flexibility” and better thickness of the left inferior prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is a region of the brain known to thin early in aging. It is important since this region of the brain is involved with executive functions, which includes gathering information and evaluating it and behavior response to your surroundings. Functions include managing time, paying attention, switching focus, planning, and organizing, remembering details, multitasking, avoiding doing or saying the wrong things, and others.
Previous research has shown that higher PC levels in the blood are related to slower cognitive decline, may slow or prevent the age-related thickness of the brain cortex, prevent brain inflammation, and contribute to the synthesis of the vital brain neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine.
The Nutrient Your Brain Cells Must Have
PC is a type of phospholipid composed of long-chain fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids and the nutrient choline. Choline is a component of PC, hence the name phosphatidylcholine. PC is found in foods such as eggs, soybeans, sunflower, and red meat. It is also available as a nutritional supplement in oil or capsule form. PC is an essential nutrient for humans that is used for the development of nerve coverings and the production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is involved in memory as well as other functions. PC is an essential component of your cell membranes, which regulates what flows in and out of your cells.
Executive Function and Executive Function Disorder. WebMD. (2020). Retrieved 31 May 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/executive-function.
Zamroziewicz, M., Zwilling, C., & Barbey, A. (2016). Inferior Prefrontal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Phosphatidylcholine and Executive Functions in Healthy, Older Adults. Frontiers In Aging Neuroscience, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00226
Yates, D. (2016). Study links nutrition to brain health and cognitive aging. Blogs.illinois.edu. Retrieved 31 May 2020, from https://blogs.illinois.edu/view/6367/411764.