Yes, the research does state that choline is a good supplement for cognitive function:
Dietary choline intake in the adult may also influence cognitive function […] and is associated with higher memory performance, and resistance to cognitive decline (Blusztajn et al. 2017).
Results suggest improvement in some aspects of cognitive performance during [choline bitartrate] treatment (Fovall et al. 1980).
In [a] community-based population of nondemented individuals, higher concurrent choline intake was related to better cognitive performance (Poly et al. 2011).
But then we find the following:
Trained cyclists do not deplete choline during supramaximal brief or prolonged submaximal exercise, nor do they benefit from choline supplementation to delay fatigue under these conditions (Spector et al. 1995).
But this is not the issue. FOCUSfactor is not made with choline, but with choline bitartrate. Here is what the research states about this ingredient:
All tasks were conducted approximately 60 minutes after the ingestion of 2.0-2.5g of either choline bitartrate or placebo. We found that choline did not significantly enhance memory performance during any of the tasks (Lippelt et al. 2016).
Choline bitartrate also did not produce any effects on either a visual or auditory memory task (Nagrecha et al. 2013).
We found that choline bitartrate did not significantly enhance memory performance during any of the tasks (Lippelt et al. 2016).
Choline bitartrate may not affect cholinergic cell receptors in the central nervous system. Some chemicals may not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier but still affect the peripheral nerves. The blood-brain barrier actually keeps the central and peripheral neurotransmitter pools separate [Abbott et al. 2006]. Alternatively, choline may not be synthesized into acetylcholine at the brain regions important for memory. This limitation would then have to be specific to choline bitartrate as the supplementation of other choline-containing substances result in rapid increases in acetylcholine levels a variety of brain regions in humans (Lippelt et al. 2016).
Apparently, choline bitartrate does not do anything choline can do. It is ineffective and incapable of either performance or cognitive function. The advertisement for this product states it is researched backed (i.e., clinically shown)–but the research is not for choline bitartrate, but for choline—-another ingredient all together.
Rather than spending money on FOCUSfactor or other products containing choline, eating eggs are a good source of choline (Lemos et al. 2018).
Lemos BS, Medina-Vera I, Blesso CN, Fernandez ML. Intake of 3 eggs per day when compared to a choline bitartrate supplement, downregulates cholesterol synthesis without changing the LDL/HDL ratio. Nutrients. 2018.
Nagrecha N, Giannetti VJ, Witt-Enderby PA, McConaha JL, Johnson DA. The effect of caffeine and choline combinations on short-term visual and Auditory Memory. Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmaceutics. 2013.
Poly C, Massaro JM, Seshadri S, Wolf PA, Cho E, Krall E, Jacques PF, Au R. The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011.
By Michael H. Brownstein