Acetylcholine is a hot topic within the realm of memory enhancement. It is a neurotransmitter that is critical for the everyday functioning of the brain, particularly in the areas of movement, learning & memory, and sleep quality. Check out this post to learn how to promote balanced acetylcholine in your body and function at your very best.
- Benefits of Acetylcholine
- Cons of Acetylcholine
- How to Change Your Levels of Acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is used for many things: from stimulating muscles to memory and sleep.
Acetylcholine controls movements by activating skeletal muscles and causes muscle contraction [R].
It also schedules and promotes REM sleep [R].
Benefits of Acetylcholine
1) Acetylcholine Prevents Memory Loss
Too little acetylcholine in the hippocampus has been associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s [R].
There is a link between acetylcholine and Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that there is a 90% loss of acetylcholine in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s [R].
Acetylcholine may enhance memory by helping encoding new memories and increasing the modification of synapses [R].
2) Acetylcholine Improves Attention
Acetylcholine helped improve attention and improves decision-making skills [R].
3) Acetylcholine Helps You Sleep Better
Acetylcholine promotes REM sleep, which helps memory storage and for the brain to rest. Acetylcholine release in the basal forebrain is highest during REM sleep [R].
4) Acetylcholine Regulates Gastrointestinal Activity
Presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) help release acetylcholine in the gut.
These receptors mediate a positive feedback with respect to ACh release from motor neurons, and therefore plays an important role in the regulation of gut flow [R].
5) Acetylcholine Protects Against Infections
Acetylcholine can modulate inflammatory responses. Acetylcholine was shown to have the ability to inhibit biofilm formation during a fungal infection (Candida albicans). Also, it inhibited inflammation-induced damage to internal organs [R].
6) Acetylcholine Affects Hormone Secretion
Cons of Acetylcholine
Too much acetylcholine is associated with depression [R].
Acetylcholine is Related to Myasthenia Gravis
In myasthenia gravis, antibodies either block, alter, or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, preventing muscle contractions.
It is a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. However, it is unclear if antibodies against receptors in the brain can directly cause the disease [R].
How to Change Your Levels of Acetylcholine
When it comes to the herbs listed, they increase acetylcholine by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks them down – acetylcholinesterase. Most common herbs have some inhibitory activity against the enzyme.
- Bacopa (R)
- Huperzine A
- Epimedium (R),
- Caffeine (R),
- Blueberries (R),
- Zinc (R),
- Copper (R),
- Grapeseed Extract (R),
- Cinnamon (R),
- Tulsi (R),
- Gotu Kola (R),
- EGCG [R].
- Curcumin [R].
- Manganese, in the presences of citrate, increases acetylcholine synthesis [R].
- DHA and dietary fish oils [R].
- Luteolin enhances choline, which in turn increases acetylcholine in the body [R].
- Quercetin (high dose) (R),
- Fo-ti (R),
- Saffron (R)
- Reishi (R),
- Carvacrol (R),
- Rhodiola (R),
- Rehmannia (R)/Catalpol (R)
- Noni (R),
- Schisandra (R),
- Magnesium (potentiates) (R),
- Andrographis (weak) (R),
- Fenugreek (R),
- Melatonin (R),
- Ginger (R),
- Danshen (R),
- Licorice (R),
- Sulforaphane (R),
- Ginseng (R),
- Propolis (R),
- Muira (R),
- Insulin (R),
- Fasting (R),
A lot of drugs can inhibit acetylcholine, either by imitating it or inhibiting choline [R].
- Lipoic Acid (in certain situations)
- Glycine in certain situations (R),
- Mercury compounds
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