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Nutrition in pregnancy: the argument for including a source of choline

Authors Zeisel SH

Received 29 December 2012

Accepted for publication 18 January 2013

Published 22 April 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 193—199


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

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Video abstract presented by Steven H Zeisel

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Steven H Zeisel

Nutrition Research Institute at Kannapolis, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kannapolis, NC, USA

Abstract: Women, during pregnancy and lactation, should eat foods that contain adequate amounts of choline. A mother delivers large amounts of choline across the placenta to the fetus, and after birth she delivers large amounts of choline in milk to the infant; this greatly increases the demand on the choline stores of the mother. Adequate intake of dietary choline may be important for optimal fetal outcome (birth defects, brain development) and for maternal liver and placental function. Diets in many low income countries and in approximately one-fourth of women in high income countries, like the United States, may be too low in choline content. Prenatal vitamin supplements do not contain an adequate source of choline. For women who do not eat foods containing milk, meat, eggs, or other choline-rich foods, a diet supplement should be considered.

Keywords: pregnancy, choline, birth defects, brain development, liver function, placenta

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