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Essential nutrient found in eggs may help lower risk of neural tube defects
Date:8/12/2009

he body. Adequate choline intake is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women because it has been shown to influence prenatal and infant brain and spinal cord development as well as lifelong memory and learning functions. There is a high rate of choline transfer from mother to fetus and breast milk is also rich in choline, so meeting maternal choline needs is very important.

Emerging research also shows that choline may have additional benefits in areas such as:

  • Memory function: Animal studies have demonstrated that age-associated memory decline seems to be delayed in offspring when mothers' diets are supplemented with choline during pregnancy.(4)
  • Breast cancer prevention: A study funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the risk of developing breast cancer was 24 percent lower among women with the highest intake of choline compared to women with the lowest intake.(5)
  • Cardiovascular health: Choline has been shown to play an important role in reducing homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that may be associated with an increased risk of chronic inflammation, which is considered a risk factor for heart disease.(6)

Closing the Choline Consumption Gap
Despite its important role in the body, only one in 10 Americans is meeting the Adequate Intake (AI) guidelines for choline.(7) "Most people don't know how important choline is for their bodies, or how easy it is to get the choline you need from food," explains Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietitian in private practice and author of the new book "Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy." Ward, who is not affiliated with Stanford, also notes "One large egg can help meet roughly one-quarter of the recommended daily intake of choline for men, women and women who are pregnant or nursing."

For those looking to add more choline to their diet, Ward offers
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Contact: Egg Nutrition News Bureau
info@eggnutrition.org
312-233-1211
Egg Nutrition News Bureau
Source:Eurekalert

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