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Increased Choline Consumption Improves Memory

Consuming choline, a vitamin B group nutrient found in eggs, meat, soy and wheat germ, has been shown to improve long-term memory and attention holding capacity, according to a study conducted at the University of Granada, Spain, Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela and the University of York, United Kingdom.

Researchers studied supplements in two experiments aimed at analyzing the influence of vitamin B intake on memory and attention during gestation and in adults.

During the first experiment, rats received choline during the third term of gestation. Three groups were fed choline-rich foods. When the offspring reached an adult age, a sample of 30 were selected consisting of 10 female offspring who were fed a choline supplement, 10 who followed a choline-deficient diet and 10 who followed a regular diet.

Measurement of memory retention were taken 24 hours after being shown an object to all of the offspring. After 48 hours, the rats of dams fed a prenatal choline-rich diet recognized the object better than those in a standard group while those with a choline-deficient group didn’t recognize the object at all.

The second experiment measured change in attention that occurred in adult rats fed choline supplement for 12 weeks versus those with no choline intake. The rats that consumed choline had better attention then others when presented with a familiar stimulus. Those fed a standard diet showed normal learning delay but those with choline-rich intake showed a fall in attention to the familiar stimulus, learning its new meaning.

A recent study showing an increased choline consumption during pregnancy also demonstrated a decrease in an infant’s vulnerability to stress-related illnesses, such as mental health disturbances and chronic conditions like hypertension.