Choline: An Essential Nutrient

Makes Babies Smarter, Keeps Memory Keen and Prevents Disease, Yet Most Americas Are Missing Out

Choline was discovered in 1862, but scientists did not fully understand its importance—or what foods contained it—for another 136 years. They thought we could make our own choline, much like we make Vitamin D from sunlight and cholesterol, but only women who still produce estrogen can make enough choline—and only if they have the right genes. Forty-five percent of child-bearing women have a genetic variation called a SNP (pronounced “snip”) that prevents them from turning estrogen into choline.

Women beyond their child-bearing years, boys, and men cannot make choline at all because they have no estrogen. There is another wrinkle in the choline story: Our normal gut bacteria eat what we eat, and many of them like choline. All of this adds up to a disturbing statistic: roughly 80% of Americans must obtain choline from their diet. Read more.

 

 

Free Public Presentation

Limited Seating Still Available

The NRI’s popular public event series, Appetite for Life, continues on Tuesday February 17 with a free presentation by Natalia Surzenko, Ph.D., on Diet and Brain Rejuvenation. The program is at 7 PM in the D.H. Murdock Research Institute at 150 Research Campus Drive, Annapolis, and will be simultaneously webcast.

Other programs will be offered in the upcoming months. On March 10 we will have guest speaker, Patrick Stover, Ph.D., from Cornell University presenting his talk, Keeping a Hungry World Healthy: Our Changing Food Supply. In April, NRI Scientist, Natalia Krupenko, Ph.D. will discuss the relationship of vitamins and a health diet. And we are excited to announce that acclaimed nutrition scientist Bruce Ames, Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkley will join us on May 20 sharing his life’s work in his presentation, The Longevity Diet. Read more about these Appetite for Life programs and sign up today.

 

Research We’re Reading

From the desk of: Sergey Krupenko, Ph.D.

Life expectancy keeps growing in developed countries, approaching 90 years on average in some. There is a forecast that more than 50 percent of girls born in the U.S. after 2010 will live to become 100 years or even older, and that the first person to live up to 150 years has already been born. Perhaps most people are curious about which factors define that people live longer. Obviously, genetic background plays a significant role in a person’s natural longevity. What about diet? Can nutrients help to prolong our life? One of the principal dietary factors influencing our overall health status is calorie consumption. Intuitively, limiting calories to some extent would be expected to improve health conditions and, as such, seems promising for longer life. Read more.

 

 

Santa Fe Turkey Wrap

The Lettuce Eat Café offers fresh, gourmet sandwiches, salads and soups to help you get important nutrients that let you fee your best.

Try the café’s Santa Fe Turkey Wrap with turkey, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato, all served on a delicious herb wrap. This wrap is great source of protein and dietary fiber. Additionally, it contains B vitamins, vitamins A, C and K, calcium, iron, potassium and selenium. Turkey is an excellent low fat, high protein choice.

The Lettuce Eat Café in the lobby of the NRI building is open to the public for breakfast and lunch weekdays from 9 AM to 2 PM.