Findings from a new study suggest that higher phosphatidylcholine intake is associated with lower risk of incident dementia and better cognitive performance in men.
Researchers investigated the associations of total choline intake and, its major form in diet, phosphatidylcholine with the risk of incident dementia and with cognitive performance in middle-aged and older men in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. A population-based sample of 2,497 dementia-free men aged 42-60 years was examined at baseline in 1984-1989. A subset of 482 men completed five cognitive performance tests four years later. Dietary intakes were assessed using food records at baseline.
During a mean follow-up of almost 22 years, 337 men were diagnosed with dementia. Total choline intake was not associated with the risk of incident dementia. However, the study found those in the highest compared with the lowest phosphatidylcholine intake quartile had a 28 per cent lower risk of incident dementia. Both total choline and phosphatidylcholine intakes were linked with better performance in cognitive tests assessing frontal and temporal lobe functioning.
Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors said "consuming an adequate amount of foods high in choline may be an easy, effective, and affordable way to maintain cognitive functioning, among other means."