Choline — a vitamin B nutrient found in eggs, chicken and beef liver, soy, and wheat germ — has been found to improve memory and attention in an experimental study of laboratory rats conducted by an international team of scientists.
The findings — by researchers from the University of Granada (Spain), Simon Bolivar University (Venezuela), and the University of York (UK) — suggest dietary supplements of choline might offer a new way to prevent or even treat memory loss and attention issues, which are common among older Americans.
For the study, published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience and Behavioral Brain Research, researchers conducted two experiments designed to test the effects of vitamin B intake on cognitive skills.
In the first experiment, pregnant rats were fed choline-rich, standard, or choline-deficient diets. When their offspring had reached adult age, they were divided into three groups — one of which received choline supplements, one received no choline, and the third was fed a standard diet. The results showed the offspring of rats fed a prenatal choline-rich diet were significantly better in tests designed to measure memory than those in the other two groups.
In the second experiment, the researchers measured changes in attention among adult rats fed a choline supplement for 12 weeks, compared with those with no choline intake or on a standard diet. The results showed rats fed choline had better attention than the others.
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