Choline intake improves memory and attention-holding capacity

July 11, 2013

An experimental study in rats has shown that consuming choline, a vitamin B group nutrient found in foodstuffs like eggs and chicken or beef liver, soy and wheat germ, helps improve long-term memory and attention-holding capacity. The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Granada (Spain) Simón Bolívar University, (Venezuela) and the University of York (United Kingdom), has revealed that choline is directly involved in attention and memory processes and helps modulate them.

Researchers studied the effects of of choline in rats in two experiments aimed at analysing the influence of vitamin B intake on memory and attention processes during gestation and in adult specimens.

In the first experiment, scientists administered choline to rats during the third term of gestation in order to determine the effect of prenatal choline on the of their offspring. Three groups of pregnant rats were fed choline-rich, standard or choline-deficient diets. When their offspring had reached adult age, a sample of 30 was selected: 10 were female offspring of dams fed a choline-supplement, 10 had followed a choline-deficient diet and the other 10, a , acting as a control group.

Long-term memory

This sample of adult offspring underwent an experiment to measure their : 24 hours after being shown an object all the offspring (whether in the choline-supplement group or not) remembered it and it was familiar to them However, after 48 hours, the rats of dams fed a prenatal choline-rich diet recognized the object better than those in the standard diet group, while the choline-deficient group could not recognize it. Thus, the scientists concluded that prenatal choline intake improves long-term memory in the resulting offspring once they reach adulthood.

The video will load shortly

In the second experiment, the researchers measured changes in attention that occurred in fed a choline supplement for 12 weeks, versus those with no choline intake. They found that the rats which had ingested choline maintained better attention that the others when presented with a familiar stimulus. The control group, fed a standard diet, showed the normal learning delay when this familiar stimulus acquired a new meaning. However, the -rich intake rats showed a fall in attention to the familiar stimulus, rapidly learning its new meaning.

Explore further: More choline reduces Down syndrome dysfunction

More information: Their study has recently given rise to publications in Nutritional Neuroscience and Behavioural Brain Research.

Related Stories

More choline reduces Down syndrome dysfunction

June 2, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a mouse model of Down syndrome, pregnant and lactating mice that received additional choline had offspring that fared much better than those whose mothers did not receive choline, a new study finds.

Sick from stress? Blame your mom... and epigenetics

July 31, 2012

If you're sick from stress, a new research report appearing in the August 2012 issue of The FASEB Journal suggests that what your mother ate—or didn't eat—may be part of the cause. The report shows that choline ...

Recommended for you

Why we fall prey to misinformation

August 23, 2016

Even when we know better, we often rely on inaccurate or misleading information to make future decisions. But why are we so easily influenced by false statements such as "vaccinations cause autism" or "30 million illegal ...

Sleep makes relearning faster and longer-lasting

August 22, 2016

Getting some sleep in between study sessions may make it easier to recall what you studied and relearn what you've forgotten, even 6 months later, according to new findings from Psychological Science, a journal of the Association ...

Have we misunderstood post-traumatic stress disorder?

August 22, 2016

In understanding war-related post-traumatic stress disorder, a person's cultural and professional context is just as important as how they cope with witnessing wartime events, which could change the way mental health experts ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.