High choline diet during pregnancy may mean less stress for baby

Related tags Cortisol Pregnancy

Pregnant women who increase choline intake in the third trimester of pregnancy may reduce the risk of the baby developing metabolic and chronic stress-related diseases, says new research.

The study – published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology​ – suggests that choline, a nutrient found in high quantities in eggs, may help protect babies against the effects of a mother's stress during pregnancy.

Previous research has suggested high exposure to the stress hormone cortisol during pregnancy, often due to maternal anxiety or depression, may make offspring vulnerable to stress-induced illness and chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes later in life.

The results of the new study will add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating the importance of choline in fetal development, say the researchers.

Source: FASEB
Volume 26, Pages, 3563-3574, doi: 10.1096/fj.12-207894fj.12-207894
“Maternal choline intake alters the epigenetic state of fetal cortisol-regulating genes in humans”
Authors: Jiang, X., J. Yan, A. A. West, C. A. Perry, O. V. Malysheva, S. Devapatla, E. Pressman, F. Vermeylen, and M. A. Caudill. 

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