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Why is choline important during pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant, you may be wondering whether choline is important. After all, there are so many things to worry about during pregnancy! But don’t worry, we’re here to tell you that choline is an essential nutrient for your baby and should be included in your prenatal diet. Keep reading to learn more about what it is and why is choline important during pregnancy. You’ll be glad you did!

choline important during pregnancy
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    Why is choline important during pregnancy?

    Prenatal choline intake is crucial because it promotes healthy brain and spinal cord development and may protect your unborn baby from neural tube abnormalities. The choline requirement for pregnant women is 450 mg per day. Several foods, including eggs, beef, chicken, and broccoli, contain choline, but many pregnant women do not take enough of it on a regular basis.

    New data suggests that choline, an important nutrient, has a protective function in fetal brain development and postnatal behaviour when it is present in the mother’s system in sufficient amounts throughout pregnancy.

    Benefits:

    • Choline helps with the growth of the placenta
      Choline helps the placenta (an organ formed in the first trimester of pregnancy to protect the developing baby, provide nutrition, and eliminate waste) function properly throughout pregnancy. Choline is essential for the development of the organ’s cellular structure, the growth of its blood vessel system, and the delivery of nutrients to the growing baby via the placenta.
    • Choline supports fetal brain development
      Choline is essential for the development of the fetus’s brain and neurological system, the expression of genes, and many other processes while in the womb. As with folate, choline is required for the formation of the spinal cord and brain.

    Choline is a component of cell membranes and a precursor of neurotransmitters, which are used in the nervous system for communication (both within neurons and between neurons and muscles). Choline stimulates cell growth in regions of the developing brain involved in learning, memory, and attention.

    Is Choline Consumption Safe?

    Choline consumption is completely safe during pregnancy. It includes both fat-soluble and water-soluble compounds, which are absorbed differently by your body depending on their form. Fat-soluble choline is usually obtained from food and is easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal system. Water-soluble choline is easily absorbed by the liver, where it is converted into a kind of fat known as lecithin.

    While choline is abundant in many foods, it is missing from the majority of prenatal vitamins on the market today. The American Medical Association (AMA) has expressed support for using choline in prenatal vitamins.

    A Date With Baby team recommends talking with your OB before using choline supplements.

    What type of choline to take while pregnant?

    It’s possible that eating a diversified diet can provide you with enough choline, but the vast majority of pregnant women don’t get enough choline from their diets alone and may need a supplement. If you are concerned that you may not have enough choline in your diet, talk to your doctor about whether or not you should take a choline supplement or a prenatal vitamin that contains choline.

    What happens if you take too much choline?

    According to the sources, high choline intake may cause low blood pressure (hypotension) and liver damage. It may also result in an increase in TMAO formation, which is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Excessive perspiration, fishy body odour, and nausea/vomiting are other symptoms.

    The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for choline for individuals 19 and older is 3,500 mg daily, based on the level demonstrated to cause these adverse effects. This large quantity would most likely be obtained by the use of extremely high dosage supplements rather than through eating alone.

    Does choline increase baby’s IQ?

    Choline may make a huge difference in your baby’s brain development. According to a recent study conducted at Cornell University, pregnant women who consume more foods rich in choline may be able to positively influence their unborn baby’s cognitive development and growth. Also, choline has been shown to be essential for proper placental development and function, as previously mentioned.

    Final words:

    Choline is important during pregnancy because it helps the baby’s brain develop. It is especially important in the third trimester when the baby’s brain is growing rapidly. You can get choline from food or supplements but speak to your doctor before taking any supplements. There are many other valuable pregnancy tips that we share on our blog, so be sure to read them for more information.

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