The increasing popularity of plant-based and vegan diets risks lowering the intake of a nutrient critical for brain health that is mainly found in animal foods, a nutritionist has said.
Moving away from diets rich in animal products could have ‘unintended consequences’ for the consumption of choline, according to a BMJ article, entitled: ‘Could we be overlooking a potential choline crisis in the United Kingdom?’
The essential dietary nutrient is critical for brain health, particularly during foetal development, and also influences liver function.
But the amount produced by the liver is not enough to meet the requirements of the human body and therefore it must be obtained from dietary and supplement sources.
The primary sources of dietary choline are found in beef, eggs, dairy products, fish and chicken. Smaller amounts can be found in nuts, beans and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli.
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