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Choline supplementation during pregnancy improves offspring information processing

09 Jan 2018

In pregnant mothers entering the third trimester, choline supplementation of approximately twice the recommended amount improves information processing in the offspring, a recent randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study has shown.

Researchers randomized 26 women entering the third trimester of pregnancy to receive either 480 (n=13) or 930 (n=13) mg of choline supplements per day. Cognitive tests were performed on 24 offspring at ages 4, 7, 10, and 13 months.

In the adjusted regression analysis, the mean saccade reaction time (RT) of offspring of mothers who took the 930-mg choline supplements was 33.8 (95 percent CI, 2.7–54.9) ms faster than those of mothers who took the 480-mg supplements. The difference was statistically significant (p=0.03).

Age was also related with mean saccade RT, which declined significantly with increasing age (p<0.0001) in both treatment groups. Moreover, each additional week of gestation led to an 18.3-ms reduction in mean saccade RT.

To determine whether gestational age was a proxy for the duration of choline exposure, a new adjusted model was constructed, which showed a significant effect of days of exposure (p=0.02), but not gestational age (p=0.3), on RT. The resulting estimated effect of choline was 51.3 ms.

As expected, infants produced more predictive saccades for the predictable stimulus sequence than for the unpredictable baseline sequence (p<0.0001), but maternal choline intake had no significant impact (p=0.6).

“The results of this controlled-feeding trial reveal significantly faster saccade RT, a measure of information processing speed, among infants born to mothers consuming the higher level of choline intake throughout their third trimester,” said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
Yesterday
No association exists between physical activity and the risk of urological cancer, according to a population-based prospective study in Japan.
6 days ago
Olanzapine confers a modest therapeutic effect on weight compared with placebo in adult outpatients with anorexia nervosa, a study has shown. However, it does not appear to offer significant benefit for psychological symptoms.
2 days ago
Patients with childhood-onset inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to die than the general population, a study suggests.
2 days ago
Reduced caloric intake results in a significant improvement in glucose metabolism and body-fat composition, including liver-fat content, according to a study. Changes in ferritin levels appear to mediate the striking reduction in liver fat.