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Choline Deficiency Causes 10% Reduction in Brain Size

A study published March 26, 2018 by University of Illinois documented the difference between piglets born to mothers who supplemented with choline as compared to those who did not receive extra choline during pregnancy. 

The three main findings are consistent with other research that has been published on the importance of choline during pregnancy for fetal brain development.

1) Brain size was on average 10% smaller when born to a choline-deficient mother. 11 of the 19 regions were "significantly" smaller. While some research shows that choline is the primary essential nutrient that develops the hippocampus, this research shows that choline was vital for all areas of brain development.

2) Postnatal supplementation does not correct the damage that is done if a fetus is deprived of choline during pregnancy. This has been published by the NIH and AMA previously. The amount of choline consumed during pregnancy affects the child's brain development for life. This specific study showed the same results. Supplementation after pregnancy will not make up for the deficiency in utero in regards to brain size or capabilities.

3) Choline is responsible for white and grey matter. When a brain is deprived of choline there is not as much white and grey matter. The deficiency causes the brain to have difficulty communicating. Choline is the precursor to the neurotransmitter Acetycholine and is needed for cellular function.

 


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