Choline Supplements Reduce Chances of Getting Alzheimer’s Disease
Choline: Link To Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease gradually destroys a person’s ability to think, remember, make decisions, and take care of themselves. It also alters mood and reduces motor control.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 50 million people worldwide with suffering from Alzheimer’s. Experts predict that this number will more than treble by 2050.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time.
Of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., Alzheimer’s disease is the only one for which there is currently no means to slow, prevent, or stop it.
While age is the most significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, there is evidence that other factors, such as diet and genetics also play a role.
Research shows that the effect of diet can last for generations and implies that this occurs through silencing of genes in the unborn.
Choline: Study Results
Research scientists at Arizona State University bred mice that were genetically predisposed to develop hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease from females whose diet contained added amounts of choline.
The descendants of these females developed fewer disease-associated brain changes and had improved memory skills compared with those of non- choline supplemented mice.
Next, researchers bred two additional generations of mice from the choline-supplemented females.
They found that the protective effect of choline supplementation persisted across multiple generations, even though the descendants’ diets were not enriched with any choline.
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles when there are high levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the brain. Homoccsteine contributes to the deterioration of brain tissue and the development of beta-amyloid plaques.
Choline, however, slows down this deterioration because it converts homocysteine into a beneficial substance called methionine.
Choline also reduces the activity of microglia cells. These cells help clear waste material in the brain. However, in Alzheimer’s, these become hyperactive and cause inflammation that kills brain cells.
Indeed, examination of hippocampal brain tissue in the descendants showed reduced amounts of beta-amyloid protein and lesser inflamation. The hippocampus is a brain region that is important in forming short and long term memories.
To explore the mechanism of maternal choline supplementation, the team examined hippocampal brain tissue in the descendants of the female mice. The hippocampus is a brain region that plays an important role in forming memories.
These results are very encouraging and highlight the importance of diet and nutrition for senior citizens. Additional research is necessary to determine whether choline can totally reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms or just slow down the progression of this disease.