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: Pioneering study shows prenatal choline may 'program' healthier babies

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

Related Stories

Pioneering study shows prenatal choline may 'program' healthier babies

May 3, 2012
Pregnant women may have added incentive to bulk up on broccoli and eggs now that a Cornell University study has found increased maternal intake of the nutrient choline could decrease their children's chances of developing ...

Researchers strive to increase awareness of forgotten essential nutrient

August 8, 2011
A group of researchers at the University of Alberta hopes to draw attention to what has become a forgotten essential nutrient.

Choline supplementation during pregnancy presents a new approach to schizophrenia prevention

January 15, 2013
Choline, an essential nutrient similar to the B vitamin and found in foods such as liver, muscle meats, fish, nuts and eggs, when given as a dietary supplement in the last two trimesters of pregnancy and in early infancy, ...

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

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

July 20, 2017
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

New study suggests that reduced insurance coverage for mental health treatment increases costs for the seriously ill

July 19, 2017
Higher out-of-pocket costs for mental health care could have the unintended consequence of increasing the use of acute and involuntary mental health care among those suffering from the most debilitating disorders, a Harvard ...

Old antibiotic could form new depression treatment

July 19, 2017
An antibiotic used mostly to treat acne has been found to improve the quality of life for people with major depression, in a world-first clinical trial conducted at Deakin University.

Wonder why those happy memories fade? You're programmed that way

July 19, 2017
We'll always have Paris." Or will we?

A child's spoken vocabulary helps them when it comes to reading new words for the first time

July 19, 2017
Children find it easier to spell a word when they've already heard it spoken, a new study led by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) at Macquarie University has found. The findings ...

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.