Choline during pregnancy beneficial to baby's brain

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Hua Kul, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Hua Kul

    Hua Kul Guest

    Nutrient during pregnancy 'super-charges' brain

    13:05 12 March 04 news service

    Taking a nutrient called choline during pregnancy could
    "super-charge" children's brains for life, suggests a
    study in rats.

    Offspring born to pregnant rats given the supplement were
    known to be faster learners with better memories. But the
    new work, by Scott Swartzwelder and colleagues at Duke
    University Medical Center in North Carolina, US, shows this
    is due to having bigger brain cells in vital areas.

    Choline, a member of the vitamin B family, is found in egg
    yolks, liver and other meats - "exactly the kind of things
    people were told not to eat" due to their high cholesterol
    content, says Swartzwelder.

    He believes their results in the rats could translate to
    humans, and indeed the US Institute of Medicine added
    choline to the list of essential nutrients, particularly for
    pregnant women, in its 2003 recommendations.

    The implications of the study's findings are "potentially
    huge" Swartzwelder believes: "If it turns out that it's true
    in humans and can make people smarter their whole lives and
    forestall age-related memory decline - that's potentially a
    very exciting prospect."

    --Hua Kul