The nootropic Choline has quite a history. It is a micronutrient that is classified as a B vitamin. It is also a major component of lecithin, an emulsifier that is used to prevent fat from clogging your liver and sticking to the walls of the arterial system.
In 1850, Dr. Theodore Gobley, a French scientist, isolated a substance he called “lecithine,” after the Greek “lekithos” for egg yoke. He discovered that egg yoke was one of the sources from which the contemporary supplement, lecithin, is obtained.
In the early 1860s Adolph Strecker, a German scientist, and Oscar Liebreich, a German pharmacologist both identified a new substance in the brain. What they didn’t know is that it was the exact same substance. Strecker called his new molecule “choline,” and Liebreich called his “neurine.”
After a period of confusion, neurine and choline were identified as the same molecule and the name choline was selected.
The role of choline as part of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine was established by a pair of chemists working in the 1930s at the University of Toronto.
Today, choline is known to be able to increase the potency of other nootropics like piracetam and noopept. Combining it with other nootropics can be effective for augmenting memory enhancement.
Choline plays a number of important roles in the human brain, such as improving memory, cognition, and learning abilities.
It can be found in many common foods like eggs, almonds and grapefruit. Studies show that failure to consume enough choline can have a negative impact on memory and the ability to learn.
Most studies have focused on choline’s ability to stave off cognitive decline. Choline’s other brain benefits include that it may:
- Increase the firing rate of neurons in the cerebral cortex’s visual and auditory areas
- Play an important role in membrane signaling, which increases mental alertness
- Be a key component in the manufacture of new neurotransmitters implicated in learning and memory
- Have widespread beneficial effects on neuroplasticity, attention, arousal, and reward systems.