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October 22, 2018

      What are some special micronutrients to pay attention to during the first 1000 days before birth? Last week it was Vitamin D.

The next critical player on the list is folate which was covered in a recent article earlier this year that can be reread at this link.

Next up is choline, a micronutrient that is poorly understood but the research is growing. Choline is a special player in human health as it is intricately involved in the development of brain neurotransmitters as well as turning on and off segments of our DNA. Secondarily, it is involved in fat metabolism. In children it is involved in memory development. (Zeisel et. al. 2009)

As with folate, choline is mechanistically involved in the prevention of infant neural tube defects. (Shaw et. al. 2004) However, the data is mixed on whether supplementation with choline helps to prevent these events, this it likely why it has not yet been added to prenatal vitamins.

To ensure adequate choline intake for pregnant mothers and children, I recommend eating more eggs, liver, fish, shellfish, wheat germ, broccoli and brussel sprouts.

450 mg of choline a day is recommended by the Institute of Medicine for pregnant women and 550 mg per day for breastfeeding women.

Keep it coming via whole unprocessed foods,

Dr. M

Linus Pauling Institute Choline Article
American Journal of Epidemiology Shaw Article
Nutrition Reviews Zeisel Article