Is your brain at risk from inadequate intake of ‘forgotten’ nutrient?

A national nutrition body is warning that 90 per cent of Australians are not consuming adequate quantities of an essential nutrient.

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A national nutrition body is warning that 90 per cent of Australians are not consuming adequate quantities of choline. Scientists are even labelling it the “forgotten nutrient”.

The dangers of inadequate consumption are nerve function irregularities, weaker bones and diminished brain function.

On the back of a heightened international focus, a group of Australia’s leading food scientists and medical researchers recently convened to discuss this dietary issue and the urgent need for both a widespread awareness campaign and more research.

They concluded that most Australians are unaware of the benefits of this essential nutrient and the need to incorporate foods containing choline into their diet.

Professor Tim Green, from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, says “research shows choline plays an important role in brain development and may help prevent birth defects during pregnancy as well as reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older people”.

Choline can be found in foods such as eggs, meat, fish and milk, as well as some green vegetables and whole grains. However, eggs provide more than double the amount of choline per 100 grams than other common foods that contain choline.

“New research being conducted in the field has revealed that choline plays a much larger role in maintaining good health than originally thought,” says Prof. Green.

He says that eating enough choline-rich food is important throughout a person’s entire life cycle as the nutrient contributes to all cell membrane formation and is necessary to both ensure the junctions between nerves work properly and to regulate nerve messages.

Research also indicates that choline plays a role in protecting against degeneration of the brain as we age, with recent studies finding a link between choline levels available to the brain and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. There is also evidence that a choline-rich diet builds stronger bones, he says.

Dr Yasmine Probst, senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong says: “Australians over 65 will benefit from incorporating choline-rich foods such as eggs into their diet on a regular basis to support brain health.”

Nutritionists say that an adequate intake of choline is 550mg a day for adult males and 425mg for adult females. One large boiled egg contains 147mg; 85g of lean beef, chicken breast and fish contain about 72mg of choline.

Are you aware of what foods you need to eat to ensure you are ingesting enough choline? Do you take supplements?

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    COMMENTS

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    KSS
    14th Nov 2019
    12:24pm
    This is ridiculous. It is hard enough to get most Australians to eat right at the macro level never mind confusing the issue and by drilling down to micronutrient level.
    musicveg
    15th Nov 2019
    3:27pm
    I agree, just stressing people out, you can get all you need in a balance wholefood diet rather than one full of processed and junk foods.
    Troubadour
    14th Nov 2019
    3:21pm
    So give us a more comprehensive list of the foods we need to be eating.
    Not just a basic general one.
    Realist
    14th Nov 2019
    4:56pm
    https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/clearing-choline-confusion

    About the Author:-
    https://www.pcrm.org/about-us/staff/susan-levin

    VIDEO and Writing:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/choline/

    Here are other points of view and some answers for you.
    80 plus
    14th Nov 2019
    5:20pm
    realist, thank you for the web address, I am vegan and 80 odd years old and these sort of articles seem to be a way of promoting pressure groups and life styles business aims and profits.
    Realist
    14th Nov 2019
    9:38pm
    @80 plus
    Totally agree, I'm in 70's, 100% Vegan too
    musicveg
    15th Nov 2019
    3:28pm
    Realist and 80plus you can get all your nutrients in a vegan diet easily if you eat a lot of variety, makes sure it is fresh wholefoods and you cannot go wrong.
    pedro the swift
    14th Nov 2019
    10:11pm
    I'm in my 70s and will never be Vegan!
    musicveg
    15th Nov 2019
    3:29pm
    Why bring that up, no one was asking you to be vegan?
    Nose Hair Bob
    26th Nov 2019
    7:39am
    pedro, the article is about eggs and choline.
    musicveg
    15th Nov 2019
    3:26pm
    Another article sponsored by the egg board, of course you can get this nutrient in your fruit and veggies easy. Just eat a varied diet of wholefoods and you will be right.
    Nose Hair Bob
    26th Nov 2019
    7:26am
    Correct musicveg, it's the sponsorship dollar. In the US, maybe in Australia as well (I've only seen the words 'fresh') it's illegal to advertise eggs as nutritious, healthy or even 'good for you'.
    The reason being...they are not.
    Nose Hair Bob
    26th Nov 2019
    7:08am
    Eggs, choline and cancer...

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-choline-and-cancer/


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