EGGS IN PREGNANCY
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.¡