The Poultry Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE -

Sev­eral re­searchers are cur­rently again ad­dress­ing the im­por­tance of choline dur­ing preg­nancy and lac­ta­tion. Women, dur­ing preg­nancy and lac­ta­tion, should eat foods that con­tain ad­e­quate amounts of choline.

A mother de­liv­ers large amounts of choline across the pla­centa to the fe­tus, and af­ter birth she de­liv­ers large amounts of choline in milk to the in­fant; this greatly in­creases the de­mand on the choline stores of the mother.

Ad­e­quate in­take of di­etary choline may be im­por­tant for op­ti­mal fe­tal out­come (birth de­fects, brain devel­op­ment) and for the mother’s liver and pla­cen­tal func­tion. Di­ets in many low-in­come coun­tries and in ap­prox­i­mately one- fourth of women in high­in­come coun­tries, like the United States, may be too low in choline con­tent. Pre­na­tal vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments do not con­tain an ad­e­quate source of choline.

Choline is nor­mally eaten in foods like eggs, milk and meats, while most plants are poorer sources of choline. In ad­di­tion higher in­takes of folic acid, thi­amin, ri­boflavin, vi­ta­min B6, vi­ta­min E, niacin and vi­ta­min A were as­so­ci­ated with de­creased risk of neu­ral tube de­fects such as spina bi­fida.

No sin­gle food is a magic bul­let, but, given a good source for these nu­tri­ents, reg­u­lar egg in­take can play an im­por­tant role in pre­vent­ing neu­ral tube de­fects and in the brain devel­op­ment of in­fants.¡

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