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Do you remember when eating eggs for breakfast was considered one of the worst things you could do for your health?
I know I do…
I still remember going in with my husband for his yearly physical and listening to his doctor tell him that if he continued eating eggs for breakfast, his cholesterol would end up through the roof and heart disease would be just around the corner.
Several studies have brought those myths into question and clarified the impact of dietary cholesterol. And, not only have eggs been shown to be beneficial for heart health (lowering your risk of heart disease by a whopping 18 percent!), they’ve even been found to:
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Curb cravings to boost weight loss
- Enhance muscle building to combat age-related muscle loss
And, there’s more “eggciting” news about our favorite breakfast food…
Eggs could be the answer to helping prevent certain neurodegenerative diseases sweeping our country, including Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s!
It’s all in the Choline
A new study by researchers at the Arizona State University Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center has now proven that the choline found in eggs has the potential to prevent brain inflammation and cell death common to all of those neurological diseases.
The team of scientists was following up on two previous studies…
The first showed that mice whose mothers were given choline supplementation during pregnancy were significantly less likely to show Alzheimer’s-like symptoms as they aged.
The second study demonstrated the power of lifelong choline supplementation to reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms in male mice.
These studies led the team to wonder whether choline supplementation would have the same effect in females – since women are at higher risk than men for Alzheimer’s and if so, how choline works to prevent the disease and its damage.
So, what did they find?
They discovered that not only did choline work to overcome Alzheimer’s in females, it did in two separate but important ways:
- First, choline blocks the production of amyloid-beta plaques — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Second, lifelong choline supplementation reduces the activation of microglia. Microglia are specialized cells that rid the brain of debris that destroys its function. Although they naturally occur to keep the brain healthy, if they are over-activated, brain inflammation and brain cell death (common symptoms of Alzheimer’s) will occur.
And, it’s that second one that’s really interesting…
The scientists say that choline’s ability to reduce disease-associated microglia, which are present in various neurodegenerative diseases, could be the answer to preventing and treating far more than just Alzheimer’s. It could actually help in cases of traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis and even Parkinson’s disease.
Higher levels used in study
While the current established RDA for choline in adult women is 425mg/day, and 550mg/day for adult men, additional choline may be beneficial to prevent the decline you see in an aging brain.
According to the researchers, the tolerable upper limit of choline unlikely to cause side effects for adult men and women is 3500mg/day (over 8 times higher than the RDA). For the study, the scientists only had to use choline supplementation which was 4.5 times the RDA to get results, making it a safe strategy, in their opinion.
However, there may be some cons to supplementing that much choline. It may be better to rely on dietary sources. One large egg gives you 147 mg of the good stuff.
In addition to eggs, you can also find high levels of choline in:
- Chicken liver – 3oz delivers 247mg
- Grass-fed steak- 3oz has 55mg
- Wheat germ – 1oz toast offers 51mg
- Milk – 8oz gives you 38mg
- Brussels sprouts – 1/2 cup provides 32mg
A daily choline supplement in the form of choline bitartrate or choline chloride may be a good choice for people on plant-based diets.
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- The controversial breakfast food that beats away diabetes risk — Easy Health Options®
- Common nutrient supplementation may hold the answers to combatting Alzheimer’s disease — EurekAlert!