Every year more and more children are being diagnosed with ADD and other learning disabilities. In fact, up to 5% of American children have ADD/ADHD. ADD is usually the medical diagnosis when a child has trouble concentrating and is forgetful. When a child has trouble concentrating and is forgetful, a medical diagnosis of ADD can be made by a doctor. In addition, when children have trouble with attention along with hyperactivity, with regulation of emotions, the diagnosis steers towards ADHD.
When you break it down, these kinds of disorders are rooted in the inability to pay attention, recall information, and properly absorb the information that is being received. With choline consumption decreasing decade over decade, we are not in a world where we are not only choline-deficient during pregnancy, but our children grow up choline-deficient. In a way, we are not giving our children the chance that they rightfully deserve when they are starved of the essential nutrient, choline.
Choline is an essential nutrient on a mission. It’s vital for proper brain development in utero. Brain development in utero determines a child’s ability to pay attention and learn for a lifetime. When a growing baby's brain is deprived of choline, it cannot develop to its fullest potential. The FDA’s recommended daily value of choline is 550mg. When a pregnant woman consumes less than that, the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotional regulation) is unable to develop properly. In fact, studies on children with Autism show that they are choline-deficient which led to the hippocampus not developing properly. Increased consumption is used as a treatment to help brain function in children with Autism.
Just as increased choline helps children with Autism, it helps those with other attention deficit disorders. As a result of increased choline consumption children are able to concentrate for longer periods of time and remember more of what they learn. This is because choline acts as a memory vitamin, directly feeding the hippocampus as well as acting as a neurotransmitter. The more choline that is consumed, the faster the brain synapses can signal each other. The faster the brain can signal, the less time the child has to feel bored or get distracted. Choline can help your child be a student who learns without being reliant on a teacher trying to come up with ways to keep attention deficit children on task, better preparing your child for “the real world.” Why? Because, again, the brain is benefited by the faster brain synapses as a result of consuming choline.
The increase in memory and recall also helps to boost a child’s self esteem, resulting in less depression.
Since the hippocampus also helps to regulate emotions, choline consumption can even help to calm aggressive tendencies of those with ADHD. Choline also helps to develop the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe helps to determine what you should pay attention to and what you should ignore. It’s also responsible for understanding the consequences of our actions. It doesn’t completely develop until the age of 25, leading to bad decision making by teenagers and young adults at times. Choline helps the prefrontal cortex develop properly so that children can learn to pay attention to the right information, such as the teacher talking, rather than getting distracted by the wrong information, such as a bird sitting by the window. Brain imaging shows that the prefrontal cortex is smaller in those with ADHD than control subjects.
Some parents have reported that their children naturally became less aggressive with the increase in confidence they received by being able to participate in classroom discussions and follow-along with the teacher and classmates without feeling left behind. Less aggression could also be attributed to proper brain function.
Choline is the essential nutrient for your child’s best potential. Whether they are currently suffering from an attention deficit disorder or you’d simply like to increase their capacity to focus and learn, or, learn at a more advanced level, choline is key. As the most recent essential nutrient to be added to the FDA list, the brainpower benefits it provides are only beginning to be uncovered. However, the research so far proves that it’s vital for your child’s brain development in utero and beyond and is necessary for normal brain function throughout life. Join me in being part of the generation of parents that takes action for our children now.
To your child’s health,