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Thread: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    Ana Sandoiu
    August 30 2019

    A recent article suggests that the growing trend towards plant based diets may put our brain health at risk. This is because choline, which is an essential nutrient, is largely missing from meat free eating plans.

    An increasing number of studies are unraveling the benefits of plant based diets. Researchers are encouraging people to consume more and more fruits and vegetables, and more and more consumers are paying heed to this dietary advice.

    Read more: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326209.php
    Last edited by Julieanne; 08-31-19 at 07:58 PM.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    The thing about choline is that individuals have different requirements. Generally, the daily requirement runs between 450 mg. for women and 550 mg. for men. But, it's hard to meet this requirement on a plant-based diet. For example, a 3 oz. piece of liver contains 350 mg., while a full cup of brown rice has only 19 mg. and a full cup of broccoli has about 60 mg. You have to eat a whole lot more food on a plant based diet to reach required choline levels. Choline plays a key role in healthy brain, heart, and liver functions. Some researchers conclude there's a connection between choline deficiency and non-alcholic fatty liver disease.

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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    Liver, beef and eggs seem to lead the choline list. I don't consume nearly enough of either. I've known people who have meat at every meal, and others who have steak daily. My main meal will typically include pork, poultry, fish and eggs more often than beef or liver; sometimes it's a meatless stirfry because that's what I have on hand, especially with so many fresh vegetables in summer. Oddly, my multi-vitamin/mineral doesn't include it. I'm thinking I should include choline with my next supplement order.
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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    A plant-based diet doesn't have to totally exclude meat. Many writers suggest just eating less meat and more vegetables, not cutting them out altogether. Beef has become so expensive I rarely eat it, and I can't remember when I last saw liver for sale. Where did it go?

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    Beef liver is always available here, but I never see pork or lamb liver, nor chicken livers (though maybe they're there, I'm just not looking for them). Organic beef steaks or roasts are out of my pay grade but I do buy a pound of ground beef from time to time. I get a lot of mileage out of it: the first quarter pound will go into a taco salad that covers two meals right there. Remember, of course, that I'm cooking for one! Another quarter pound will go into a Chinese beef-&-broccoli stir fry — especially good with home-grown tender-crisp broccoli. The last two quarter pounds generally make a couple of cheeseburgers... so 6-7 meals from a pound of beef. Can I call that plant-based?
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    Liver, beef and eggs seem to lead the choline list....Oddly, my multi-vitamin/mineral doesn't include it. I'm thinking I should include choline with my next supplement order.
    Like you, I eat more poultry and fish than beef, liver and eggs. I've supplemented with a 500 mg. choline capsule every other day for the last 10 years or so. Until a few years ago, choline and inositol were considered a part of the B Complex, but not anymore. However, as with most nutrients, the body uses choline more effectively if coupled with inositol. Choline should be twice the amount of inositol. Inositol has proven very beneficial for diabetics, especially diabetic neuropathy.

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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    This is good to know. Do they come as a couple?
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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    As to supplements, due to the quantities of Choline and Inositol usually taken, I don't think there would be much point in combining them together. One would have to take so many capsules that it would be easier just to take them separately. Here is a good form of choline, if one wants to take it as a supplement:

    Alpha GPC (L-alphaglycerophosphatidylcholine, also known as choline alfoscerate) is a phospholipid metabolite found concentrated in neuronal membranes. Derived from lecithin, alpha GPC is extremely well absorbed and crosses the blood brain barrier.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do Plant Based Diets Deprive The Brain Of An Essential Nutrient?

    I take a single capsule that combines 250 mg. of choline and 250 mg. of inositol. Since the ratio of choline to inositol should be 2:1, I take an additional 250 mg. capsule of just choline. The choline I take is choline bitartrate. As Maurya so correctly noted, Alpha GPC choline is well absorbed, and has been shown to improve progressively declining memory function in humans. Choline bitartrate, on the other hand, has a lipotropic effect on the liver, helping to remove fat from the liver. Bitartrate has also shown a positive effect on inflammation management.

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