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Higher Intake of Choline, Lutein, & Zeaxanthin May Improve Cognitive Function

Cognitive flexibility is the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. A new study has found that higher intake of choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin may be associated with greater cognitive flexibility in overweight adults.

Eighty middle-aged adults who were overweight or obese participated in the study. Participants completed a 7-day diet record that was used to measure intakes of choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They performed a cognitive flexibility task that measured reaction times.

Participants with higher intakes of choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin were found to have faster reaction times during the cognitive flexibility task. No difference was seen for individual intakes of choline, lutein, or zeaxanthin. The researchers noted that combined consumption of the three may increase production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois.It was published online ahead of print on January 15, 2021 in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.

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