A possible brain food that you've probably never heard of
Choline may labor in obscurity — if you haven't heard of it, you're in the majority — but it's an essential nutrient that does important work in the body.
And now there's some research that lends some credence to claims that the nutrient may be something of a "brain food" that fends off cognitive decline in old age.
Choline (pronounced KO-lean) plays a critical role in a wide variety of biochemical chain reactions, including some that are necessary for very basic functions, like keeping cell membranes intact. It and a more familiar vitamin, folate, share a nutritional teeter-totter: the less folate in your diet, the more choline you need, because choline serves the same function as folate in several metabolic pathways.