Choline & its Role During Pregnancy


Choline & its Role During Pregnancy"Choline is important for people of all ages, particularly moms and moms-to-be," says Neva Cochran, M.S., R.D., nutrition communications consultant and nutrition writer and researcher for Woman's World magazine

Choline is an essential nutrient needed for health promotion and disease prevention in individuals of all ages. It is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women  for brain and memory development in the fetus and newborn infant and can reduce the risk of certain birth defects.

According to Cornell University Associate Professor, Marie Caudill, Ph.D., R.D. "Women with diets low in choline have two times greater risk of having babies with neural tube defects so it's essential that nutrition education during pregnancy and breastfeeding highlight the importance of dietary sources of choline." 


 

Human milk has high levels of choline.

Benefits of Choline

Its role in the body is complex. It is needed for neurotransmitter synthesis (acetylcholine), cell-membrane signaling (phospholipids), lipid transport (lipoproteins), and methyl-group metabolism (homocysteine reduction).

  • Improved Attention Function

  • Protects liver from accumulating fat

  • Choline supplementation in pregnant women lowers cortisol in the baby by changing epigenetic expression of genes involved in cortisol production

  • Proper Brain Development

  • Low choline intake causes an elevated homocysteine level, raising the risk for preeclampsia, premature birth, and very low birth weight.

  • Helps lower cholesterol and homocysteine levels associated with cardiovascular disease

  • Protect against breast cancer. High dietary intakes of choline have recently been associated with a decreased risk for breast cancer. In the first study to examine the association between choline and breast cancer, Xu et al. found that breast cancer risk was reduced 24% among women with high dietary intakes of choline.

Signs of Choline Deficiency

Choline & its Role During PregnancyMost common signs of choline deficiencies are fatty liver and hemorrhagic kidney necrosis. Dietary intake of a choline full diet can reduce the severity of the deficiency.













 

Recommended Intake of Choline
Life Stage Group AI (mg/day) UL(mg/day)
Females
913 yrs
1418 yrs
1930 yrs
3150 yrs
5070 yrs
70 yrs

375
400
425
425
425
425

2000
3000
3500
3500
3500
3500
Pregnancy
≤ 18 yrs
1930 yrs
3150 yrs

450
450
450

3000
3500
3500
Lactation
≤ 18 yrs
1930 yrs
3150 yrs

550
550
550

3000
3500
3500
Choline Sources

Choline is found in fatty foods, such as eggs (especially the yolk) and liver. A 3-oz. serving of liver provides 355mg of choline. Liver is the food source that gives the maximum amount of choline per serving. Vegetables provide an excellent source of choline along with other essential nutrients like vitamins A, C and E. Broccoli is the main vegetable that provides choline. One cup of fresh broccoli provide 62mg of choline. Brussel sprouts also provide choline; 1 cup contains 63mg of choline.
 

Whole Food Sources Serving Choline (mg)
Beef liver, pan fried 3 ounces 355
Organic egg 1 large 126
Organic beef, cooked 3 ounces 66
Brussel sprouts, cooked 1 cup 63
Broccoli 1 cup 62
Wild salmon 3 ounces 56
Organic peanut butter 2 tablespoons 20

 


Ref:

Dated 14 November 2012

 

Listen to the Podcast (what's this)

Related Links