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Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study

07/12/2017

ABSTRACT 

Rodent studies demonstrate that supplementing the maternal diet with choline during pregnancy produces
life-long cognitive benefits for the offspring. In contrast, the two experimental studies examining cognitive
effects of maternal choline supplementation in humans produced inconsistent results, perhaps because of poor
participant adherence and/or uncontrolled variation in intake of choline or other nutrients.Weexamined the effects
of maternal choline supplementation during pregnancy on infant cognition, with intake of choline and other
nutrients tightly controlled. Women entering their third trimester were randomized to consume, until delivery,
either 480 mg choline/d (n = 13) or 930mg choline/d (n = 13). Infant information processing speed and visuospatial
memory were tested at 4, 7, 10, and 13mo of age (n = 24).Mean reaction time (RT) averaged across the four ageswas
significantly faster for infants born to mothers in the 930 (vs. 480) mg choline/d group. This result indicates that
maternal consumption of approximately twice the recommended amount of choline during the last trimester improves
infant information processing speed. Furthermore, for the 480-mg choline/d group, there was a significant
linear effectof exposureduration(infants exposedlonger showedfasterRTs), suggesting that evenmodest increases
inmaternal choline intake during pregnancymayproduce cognitive benefits for offspring.—Caudill, M.A., Strupp,
B. J., Muscalu, L., Nevins, J. E. H., Canfield, R. L. Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of
pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study.

Reference

Marie A. Caudill, Barbara J. Strupp, Laura Muscalu, Julie E. H. Nevins and Richard L. Canfield (2017) Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study. The Official Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. DOI: http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2017/12/07/fj.201700692RR

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