There is no longer any question that the rates of neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, migraines and epilepsy are going up. Our lifestyles are just too toxic for our brains. But there is much you can do, including adding some simple foods.
Acetylcholine is a critical neurotransmitter in the brain and was also one of the very first neurotransmitters ever identified. Without going into mind-numbing detail, suffice it to say that acetylcholine helps the neurons in our brain communicate effectively with one another.
Without the appropriate message being passed between cells, havoc can ensue. Because of this, making sure that our brains have enough acetylcholine to work with is very important. Medications, such as Aricept, exist that block the breakdown of acetylcholine, essentially extending the duration of action. However, given the wide variety of things that acetylcholine is involved in, drugs that interfere with this normal process come with a long list of side effects.
So what can we do to increase our body’s production of acetylcholine? An effective method is to increase the intake of choline, the precursor that our bodies use to make acetylcholine, either in our diet or with supplements. Preferably both.
Dietary sources of choline include eggs, soy (remember–no GMO), cod (wild caught), cauliflower and spinach. This particular article looked that the relationship between the dietary intake of choline and cognitive function. Those currently eating foods high in choline had much better performance measures. Seems like a pretty simple tool.
Supplements that can increase choline include straight choline as well as lecithin.
So, if you’re looking to do your brain a favor, increase your dietary intake of foods high in choline. If you’re in the throws of some neurological challenges, supplementation with choline and / or lecithin may be well worth a trial.
Other factors to improve or pay attention to may include:
- Reducing oxidative stress through stress reduction, more phytonutrients in the diet
- Vitamin D supplementation
- 2,000 mcg of Vitamin B12 (NOT cyanocobalamin form!)
- Protect your mitochondria
Overall, how well your brain performs for you is largely under your controls. The actions you take and the decisions you make directly relate to your brain health. Choose well.