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LMU 140 – Unveiling the Power of Choline: Nourishing Memory and Cognitive Vitality


LMU 140 – Unveiling the Power of Choline: Nourishing Memory and Cognitive Vitality

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2019)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (August 22, 2019)


Step into the realm of cognitive health, where the elements of choline and phosphatidylcholine weave a tale of memory, cognition, and vitality. Our journey takes us through the pages of science, unravelling the delicate connection between brain chemistry and the foods we consume.

Choline: The Architect of Memory

Intriguingly, the brain crafts a memory elixir known as “acetylcholine” from the building blocks of choline and phosphatidylcholine. These components, nestled within a range of foods, hold the power to shape memory and cognitive function. A fascinating revelation surfaces—when choline levels in the brain decline, so does acetylcholine, ushering in a decline in memory capabilities.

A Glimpse into Research: Choline and Cognitive Health

A monumental study, housed within the archives of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2019, paints a vivid portrait of choline’s impact on cognitive health. This scholarly endeavor unearthed a groundbreaking insight—a link between dietary phosphatidylcholine intake and the risk of dementia as we traverse the journey of aging. Moreover, the study unveiled an enchanting connection—a higher phosphatidylcholine intake correlated with enhanced cognitive performance.

The Finnish Men and Their Journey: Unravelling the Tale

The study’s narrative commences with approximately 2,500 Finnish men, aged 42 to 60. These subjects opened the door to their dietary habits, lifestyles, and health journeys. The canvas broadened—hospital records, causes of death, medication reimbursement records—all intricately woven into a tapestry of data, spanning 22 years.

Cognition Under the Microscope: Insights Unveiled

Four years into the study’s initiation, nearly 500 men undertook tests designed to measure memory and cognitive processing. The journey’s plot deepened—337 men encountered dementia. A revelation emerged—the risk of dementia stood 28% lower in those who embraced a diet rich in phosphatidylcholine. As the curtains unveiled their story, men with elevated phosphatidylcholine intake showcased not just a shield against dementia but also mastery over memory and linguistic prowess.

The Key to Cognitive Well-being: Choline in Focus

Choline emerged as the star of this cognitive saga. A treasure trove of memory preservation and cognitive vigor, it weathered meticulous scrutiny. The study’s canvas encompassed a spectrum of factors, ranging from lifestyle to nutrition—a thorough examination of dementia’s risk factors. Even the enigmatic APOE4 gene, a sentinel of Alzheimer’s predisposition, found its place in the narrative, revealing no significant sway over the findings. The researchers’ verdict resounded—higher phosphatidylcholine intake offered a fortress against dementia, ushering in a symphony of cognitive brilliance in Eastern Finnish men.

The Choline Quandary: A Glance at the American Reality

Across the ocean, the American tale unfolds, casting a spotlight on choline consumption. Startling facts emerge—most adults fall short of the recommended choline intake, prescribed by the US Food and Nutrition Board. The decree stands—550 mg daily for men and 425 mg for women. The canvas offers a portrait—average daily choline intake in adults spans 402 mg in men and 278 mg in women.

Charting the Course to Cognitive Health: Foods Rich in Choli

A chart surfaces, adorned with the bounty of choline found in common, healthful foods. Beef, egg yolk, and beef liver beckon from the high choline ranks, yet caution flags arise due to their links with health issues. A symphony of alternatives emerges—soybeans, chicken breast, Atlantic cod, shiitake mushrooms, and more—each harboring respectable choline content.

A Personal Approach: Nourishing Cognitive Wellness

On a personal note, the journey veers towards a daily ritual—an intake of 1-2 lecithin capsules, each harboring 1200 mg of lecithin. In this elixir of wellness, phosphatidylcholine thrives, nurturing the cognitive garden.

Epilogue: Nurturing Cognitive Brilliance

As the narrative reaches its culmination, the tapestry of choline’s impact emerges in vivid hues. A testament to memory, cognition, and the quest for a vibrant mind, this tale is etched with the threads of scientific exploration. Yet, wisdom’s voice reverberates—consult the guide, the physician, for personalized steps towards cognitive well-being.



Main Reference

  1. 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, 2019,
  2. Choline Requirements and Average Intake: National Institutes of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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