Acetylcholine - Brain Processing Speed and Your Health

Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter that determines brain processing speed, and memory. A deficiency can result in attention deficit disorder, and eventually Alzheimer's symptoms, leading to Alzheimer's disease.

This extremely important brain chemical has a host of functions within the brain, not the least of which is to regulate the speed at which your brain processes information. It does this by regulating the rate that electrical signals are processed throughout the body.

This signal processing speed is critical to the proper functioning not only of your brain but your body as well.

Your organs rely on proper electrical signaling to maintain normal healthy function. Acetylcholine is the key to proper electrical processing speed.

Brain processing speed is measured in milliseconds, and there is a very small range that is considered normal.

  • 290 – 320 milliseconds is the normal range depending on age
  • 340 milliseconds – learning difficulties can begin
  • 350 milliseconds – attention deficit disorder appear
  • 400 milliseconds – Alzheimer's symptoms

It is critical to have just the right balance of this key neurotransmitter.
Too much or too little causes significant problems. All that separates normal function from learning, memory problems, and other difficulties is a few milliseconds of brain processing speed.

This makes it critical that we get this balance right and maintain it throughout your lifetimes. Your brain can either be burning too much acetylcholine, or making too little. There are strategies you can use to correct this that involve diet and supplementation.

Symptoms of Imbalances

You may either have too much acetylcholine or too little. The more common problem is a deficiency, and diminished brain processing speed, but there are symptoms for each.

Too much can produce feelings of paranoia, and you can feel as though you are being taken advantage of.

Too little of this chemical can lead to forgetfulness and loss of enthusiasm for life. Disorganization and a lack of planning and knowing “what to do next,” and attention deficit disorder can indicate that you may have a deficiency of this neurotransmitter.

To help you pinpoint imbalances in any of your four major neurotransmitters, Dr. Eric Braverman M.D. , author of the “The Edge Effect,” has created an assessment test that you can take, which will determine your dominant neurotransmitter and any deficiency you may have, before it results in a significant loss in brain processing speed.

The Braverman Nature Assessment Test

Another indication of deficiency may be fat cravings. This is because a number of high fat foods are rich sources of choline ,which is a precursor, needed to make acetylcholine.

Nutritional Strategies

To maintain optimal brain processing speed, and avoid attention deficit disorder you will have to provide the nutrients your body needs to do its chemical processing.

In order for your brain to make acetylcholine, it requires what is called a “precursor” which is a b-vitamin called choline. There are a number of dietary sources of choline. This brief list is excerpted from Dr. Braverman’s book “The Edge Effect.”

High fat sources of choline include:
  • Almonds
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Liver
  • Beef
  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Sausages
  • High fat cheeses
  • Fatty Pork
  • Ice Cream
  • Whole milk
  • Sour cream

Low Fat sources of choline include:

  • Cucumber, zucchini, lettuce
  • Lean chicken or turkey
  • Skim milk
  • Poached, boiled or baked eggs
  • Well trimmed lean pork
  • Low fat cheeses
  • Fish
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean beef with the fat trimmed
  • Low fat yogurt and sour cream
  • Skim milk, buttermilk, non fat powdered milk
There are meal plans plus nutritional supplement recommendations in Dr. Braverman’s book that will provide you with sound nutritional advice to help you balance your neurotransmitters, regain your “edge,” and optimize your brain processing speed.

The Edge Effect

When I speak of “the edge” what I really mean is that when your levels of this important neurotransmitter are in balance, your health and performance in all areas of your life is will be greatly enhanced.

“The Edge Effect,” by Dr. Eric Braverman M.D. will be one of the best investments you can make for your health and antiaging efforts. It is a comprehensive approach to balancing your key neurotransmitters. I strongly urge you to get his book, its THAT good!

You will be mentally sharp, with a good memory, maximizing your social skills, and energizing your relationships and interactions with others. If you are an athlete, your performance on the field will be at peak, and you will be at the top of your game.

Lose the edge and you suffer mentally, physically, and emotionally. Your bodily systems will start to function at less than optical levels, brain processing speed will decline, symptoms of attention deficit disorder may start to appear, leading to diminished performance in all areas of your life.

Although I have no evidence to back this up, my personal feeling is that a deficiency of acetylcholine is perhaps the most common.

The stress of modern life, and a nutritionally inadequate diet, are in part responsible for this trend. The seeming increase in incidence of Alzheimer’s disease may also be attributable to this problem.

I believe that one of the most important and effective strategies to safeguard your physical and mental health is to ensure you maintain your acetylcholine edge, and take steps to restore that edge if it has been lost. You will marvel at the results!

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