The egg contains all the substances necessary for the production of new cells, and studies say that the ‘hill’ is essential for brain health.
The egg yolk is the food that contains larger amounts of choline – a substance derived from an amino acid called serine (associated with a feeling of well-being) – among the components of the common diet. One unit has about 130 milligrams of choline, while a piece of 100 grams of salmon has 56 milligrams. The result of research conducted by the Department of Agriculture (USA), found that no food goes beyond the egg yolk in concentration of choline.
“It is estimated that the circulating concentration of choline doubles after ingestion of a meal containing two eggs.” Says Professor Cicero Galli Coimbra, Department of Neurology, Federal University of Sao Paulo. The hill is part of the structure of so-called phospholipids, which could be described as a structural unit of the cell membrane. In a figurative sense, it is as if the hill was the “brick” used in the construction of the structure of the cell membrane. All cells that form in our bodies require phospholipids, therefore, choline, structure of membranes.
Choline is needed for the production of new cells and repair damaged cell membranes, which may be particularly sensitive to deficiency of choline, because the nerve cells need to produce more amount of cell membrane than any other cell. The formation of new neurons can occur even in the brains of older individuals, through the work of neuroscientists Swedish (1998).
The regions responsible for the acquisition of new information, such as the hippocampus, are those in which neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) is more intense, indicating the importance of the hill on the preservation of memory.
“The production of a substance essential for the storage of information by the hippocampus – acetylcholine – requires the availability of choline in the diet.” Explains the expert.
There is a compound derived from the hill called citicoline (or CDP-choline), which constitutes the only neuro-protective today demonstrated and confirmed in case of injuries caused by stroke (stroke). With the discovery that the production of new neurons is present even in old age, means the hill can have a positive role in the following situations: diseases in which recovery can be facilitated or those whose progression can be limited by neurogenesis .
Concrete data already exist in relation to the prevention of malformations of the nervous system during intrauterine life, such as anencephaly and spina bifida. Choline consumed by the mother may influence the development of the fetus and baby, increasing the formation of neurons during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This can exert a decisive influence on their future ability to learn and therefore their ability to compete for opportunities in the professional environment as an adult. Several studies have shown that choline is as or more important than the folic acid during pregnancy.
Future research should demonstrate positive effects of choline on the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This is because the brain of the elderly have less ability to capture the hill stock, being more sensitive to the negative consequences of a diet low in choline.
Cicero G Coimbra, MD, PHD
Lab of Neuropathology & Neuroprotection, head
Associate Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Federal University of São Paulo – UNIFESP
Rua Pedro de Toledo 781 – sétimo andar
São Paulo – SP – Brasil – CEP 04039-032