Research into a vitamin taken by bodybuilders and often used to help fight asthma shows that it may significantly support brain health. Scientists now believe this vitamin can lower the chances of schizophrenia while possibly reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The essential nutrient is choline, a member of the B vitamin family that is found in liver, muscle meats, fish, nuts and eggs. In a study at the University of Colorado, researchers found that giving choline to pregnant women in the last two trimesters of pregnancy improved cognitive functioning in their babies. The result: The newborns showed fewer nervous system characteristics that might make them more vulnerable to schizophrenia.
"Genes associated with schizophrenia are common, so prevention has to be applied to the entire population, and it has to be safe,” says researcher Robert Freedman, M.D. “Basic research indicates that choline supplementation during pregnancy facilitates cognitive functioning in offspring. Our finding that it ameliorates some of the pathophysiology associated with risk for schizophrenia now requires longer-term follow-up to assess whether it decreases risk for the later development of illness as well."