Acetylcholine

In Blog, Health, Nutrition, Podcasts by Wendy Christien

Acetylcholine is produced in the parietal lobes in the brain. These are found in the back and top of the head and are responsible for thinking functions such as comprehension of language, attention, and intelligence.

Acetylcholine is released by the motor neurons and neurons in the autonomic nervous system and influences the processing speed of the brain.

The autonomic nervous system regulates our stress response. It is also involved in the function of the peripheral nervous system which communicates between the brain and the organs, skin, and limbs.

In the central nervous system, it helps with the maintenance of cognitive function.

Acetylcholine is necessary to process sensory input such as smell, taste, touch, vision, and sound. When there is an imbalance in this neurotransmitter, we can’t respond to stimulus quickly enough. 

People with an acetylcholine nature are generally creative, flexible, and open to new ideas. They are considerate of others, they think quickly and put a lot of effort into whatever they do regardless of the effort required.

People with balanced levels of acetylcholine can be intuitive, enthusiastic, and innovative, taking pleasure in their communication with others. These people can be outgoing and friendly, enjoying socializing and meeting new people.

Too much acetylcholine can make individuals feel paranoid or they can become neurotic or narcissistic.

Too little can make you forgetful and unable to process information effectively. You may also experience sensory loss such as hearing difficulties, slower bowel function, changes in visual perception, and slower movement and reflexes to name a few. People with low levels often crave fatty foods.

Acetylcholine controls the speed at which sensory stimuli are measured in the brain.

It helps the brain determine the rate at which electrical signals are processed throughout the body and connects the body’s physical experiences to memories and thoughts.

This electrical rate determines the brain’s real or functional age, which can be very different from your chronological age.

A person’s brain can be younger or older than their physical years based on this electrical signaling.

When the brain is unable to process stimuli quickly enough, you land up with gaps in your memory and recalling information becomes more difficult. This happens because the brain struggles to connect new stimuli to previously stored thoughts and memories. You can learn, but you forget the information.

To treat imbalances in acetylcholine it’s important to look at hormonal balance, diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors.

Choline is a very important vitamin for the production of Acetylcholine. The highest concentration is found in egg yolks, but other sources include liver, fish, oat bran, peanut butter, and wheatgerm.

Including a wide variety of healthy fats is also important to prevent the craving for unhealthy fats so be sure to include avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, olives, and cheeses in your diet. It would not be advisable to follow a low-fat diet if you have low levels of acetylcholine.

Other supplements that can be helpful are phosphatidylserine (phospholipids) and antioxidants.

Referenced from Dr Eric Braverman’s Book The Edge Effect.

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 3 March 2022 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am