Chronic choline supplementation improves cognitive and motor performance via modulating oxidative and neurochemical status in rats

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Choline, an essential nutrient, accounts for multiple functions in the body and brain. While its beneficial effects on healthy adults are not clear, choline supplementation is important during pregnancy for brain development, in elderly patients for support of cognitive performance and in patients with neurological disorders to reduce memory deficits. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate whether choline administration in healthy adult rats beneficially impacts cognitive and locomotor performance, and associated oxidative and neurochemical outcomes. Two groups, control and choline, received tap water and choline bitartrate, respectively at the dose equivalent to adequate intake for five weeks. Food intake and body weight were monitored daily. Behavioral analysis comprising assessment of cognitive performance (by novel object recognition, passive avoidance and Morris Water Maze test) and locomotor performance (by Open field, Kondziela’s inverted screen and beam walking test) were performed. Following testing, rats were decapitated and brain samples were collected for estimation of acetylcholine, redox profile and monoamine measurements. The results showed that chronic choline administration significantly improves cognitive and locomotor performance accompanied by a reduction in oxidative stress, enhanced cholinergic neurotransmission and monoamine levels in the brain of healthy adult rats. Hence, chronic choline intake was found to improve behavioral, oxidative and neurochemical outcomes in the normal population, so it can be suggested that choline tablets can be used as a safe and effective supplement for improving the neurological health of normal individuals and that they might also be beneficial in preventing cognitive and motor disorders later in life.Graphical abstractHighlightsStudy was aimed to investigate whether choline intake is beneficial in healthy adults.Chronic choline intake at an adequate dose improved brain functioning in healthy adults.Chronic choline administration improved cognitive and locomotor function.Choline reduced oxidative stress, enhanced cholinergic and monoaminergic transmission.Hence, choline tablets may be suggested as a safer and effective supplement to improve neurological health.

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