Choline is an essential nutrient, critical to overall health and healthy cognitive function throughout life.
Choline is clearly linked to fetal and infant brain development and enhanced memory and cognition. Before birth, choline is needed to help form the membranes of the nervous system. Insufficient choline in the fetal brain affects the development of the areas of the brain that regulate memory.
Choline availability to a fetus also appears to have an enduring significance for that individual at an advanced age. Choline may support the brain during aging and helps prevent changes in brain chemistry that result in cognitive decline and failure.
In spite of its importance to memory and cognitive function, there is evidence of insufficient choline intake at all stages of adult life. Intake levels decline with age, too. Those aged 71 and older average just 264 mg of choline per day, or about half their daily requirement.