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Choline is a vitamin critical for cell membrane and neurological health. Recent studies have shown that mothers who consumed choline during pregnancy conferred multiple beneficial effects to their babies. Women eating a vegan diet may also be at higher risk of deficiency as egg yolks are one of the primary sources of choline. However, broccoli is an alternate good source of this vitamin if eggs are not an option.
Choline is needed by the body for many vital functions, including detoxification support, liver health, brain health, cardiovascular health, and skin health. Animal models of choline supplementation show that increased levels correlate to improved cognitive function, memory and learning.
In recent studies, choline supplementation resulted in decreased levels of infant cortisol levels. Dr. Caudill at Cornell University just published a study linking choline with children’s health. Here is an excerpt from the Cornell Chronicle:
In a 12-week study led by Marie Caudill, associate professor of nutritional sciences, and graduate student Xinyin Jiang, a group of third-trimester pregnant women consumed approximately double (930 mg) the recommended 450 mg daily intake of choline.
Subsequently, the babies had 33 percent lower concentrations of cortisol, a stress hormone, compared with a control group of pregnant mothers who consumed 480 mg of choline. Recall that cortisol, if chronically elevated, leads to weight gain, neuroendocrine imbalance, and metabolic dysfunction. Researchers further suspect that maintaining a healthier level of cortisol could help to prevent stress-related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
Significantly, most prenatal vitamins contain little or no choline. Contact your medical provider at Grain Integrative Health for more information about safe and effective supplementation.