Prenatal choline supplementation improves child sustained attention: A 7-year follow-up of a randomized controlled feeding trial
Bahnfleth C A ,Strupp B J , Caudill et al ,28 December 2021 ,Prenatal choline supplementation improves child sustained attention: A 7-year follow-up of a randomized controlled feeding trial ,the FASEB journal ,doi: https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.202101217R
Numerous rodent studies demonstrate developmental programming of offspring cognition by maternal choline intake, with prenatal choline deprivation causing lasting adverse effects and supplemental choline producing lasting benefits. Few human studies have evaluated the effect of maternal choline supplementation on offspring cognition, with none following children to school age. Here, we report results from a controlled feeding study in which pregnant women were randomized to consume 480 mg choline/d (approximately the Adequate Intake [AI]) or 930 mg choline/d during the 3rd trimester. Sustained attention was assessed in the offspring at age 7 years (n = 20) using a signal detection task that showed benefits of maternal choline supplementation in a murine model. Children in the 930 mg/d group showed superior performance (vs. 480 mg/d group) on the primary endpoint (SAT score, p = .02) and a superior ability to maintain correct signal detections (hits) across the 12-min session (p = .02), indicative of improved sustained attention. This group difference in vigilance decrement varied by signal duration (p = .04). For the briefest (17 ms) signals, the 480 mg/d group showed a 22.9% decline in hits across the session compared to a 1.5% increase in hits for the 930 mg/d group (p = .04). The groups did not differ in vigilance decrement for 29 or 50 ms signals. This pattern suggests an enhanced ability to sustain perceptual amplification of a brief low-contrast visual signal by children in the 930 mg/d group. This inference of improved sustained attention by the 930 mg/d group is strengthened by the absence of group differences for false alarms, omissions, and off-task behaviors. This pattern of results indicates that maternal 3rd trimester consumption of the choline AI for pregnancy (vs. double the AI) produces offspring with a poorer ability to sustain attention—reinforcing concerns that, on average, choline consumption by pregnant women is approximately 70% of the AI.