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Twice Recommended Amount of Prenatal Choline May Boost Infant Brain Function

The recommended daily dose of choline is 450 mg. However, a recent study suggests that children of mothers who take prenatal choline supplements at double the recommended level may have higher information processing speeds at multiple age markers in early life.


Participants in the study included 26 women who were entering their third trimester of pregnancy. All of the women followed the same diet and took either 480 mg or 930 mg of choline daily for the remainder of their pregnancies. The researchers tightly controlled the women’s intake of choline and other nutrients because the metabolism of choline can overlap with other nutrients.


The researchers used cognitive tests to evaluate the newborns’ memory, information processing speed, and visual attention span at four, seven, 10, and 13 months old. They found that the babies whose mothers had taken the 930 mg dose had higher information processing speeds at every age marker, when compared with the control group.


Researchers from Cornell University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 5, 2018, in The FASEB Journal.


Choline is essential for fetal development, with previous research suggesting that it is particularly essential for nervous system development.


Choline performs many of the same functions in the human body as vitamin B. It has been linked with prevention of accumulation of liver fats, helping muscles function, keeping cholesterol at a healthy level and promoting cell growth. It can be found in saltwater fish, eggs, liver, chicken, milk, cauliflower and some legumes.

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