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Choline: Essential for Brain Development in Babies

Many pregnant mothers today are aware that what they eat may have an effect on the development of their babies and therefore take extra care to adopt a healthier diet. In addition to paying attention to their intake of calories, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium, it turns out that choline is also essential to a baby’s development!

 

In a study conducted on expectant women in their third trimester, half of them consumed 480 mg of choline every day, while the other half consumed 930 mg of choline every day. Their babies were later tested at four, seven, and 13 months of age on their vision and information processing speed. The babies from the group of mothers who consumed 930 mg of choline per day showed significantly faster processing speeds and better vision development than those from the other group, suggesting that an adequate intake of choline during pregnancy benefits the visual and cognitive development of babies. However, this is a relatively small study and the medical field has yet to officially recommend a high daily intake of choline. Ultimately, what’s most important for pregnant women to remember is to adopt a balanced diet and to consume more choline-rich foods such as egg yolks, legumes, nuts, cruciferous vegetables, lean meats, fish, and poultry.

 

Reference: Caudill MA et al. (Jan 2018). Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study.FASEB J.(online version).