The Story of Me
Like most women, when I became pregnant I obsessed over how I could help my child their best potential in life. I wondered how my diet & everyday lifestyle choices affected my baby, & began to research the proper foods and supplements to take for healthy development in utero and beyond.
During my research I learned about an essential nutrient I had never heard about before - Choline. I’m a healthy person, love essential oils, eat a well-balanced diet and ensure I’m receiving all the necessary nutrients that my body and brain need, but I had never heard of Choline before and had no idea how essential it was for my well being, and my unborn child’s.
Dr. Best jumpstarted the research of Choline for humans when he discovered that it reversed disease in animals. However, it wasn't until 1998 that it became declared an essential nutrient for public health and it's critical role in brain development for babies and aging adults had been proven and published.
Obviously, my fascination with Choline grew when I learned of it's role in brain development and by the end of my first trimester I was taking Choline supplements daily. I was frustrated that a nutrient so important that directly affected my child’s capacity to learn, as well as prevent against neural birth defects, was barely included in my prenatal vitamin. My prenatal vitamin contained 10mg of Choline -- the average recommended intake for pregnant and lactating women is 500-600mg!
We all know that what we eat and the nutrients we absorb and give to our babies during pregnancy can affect them throughout their entire lives, so I became diligent about taking my Choline supplement every day. I also began to educate others around me about the importance, not only during childbearing years but throughout life as it also is a helps to protect the brain against developing Alzheimers or Dementia.
It felt great to know that I was doing my best as a mom to give my child an advantage in life. Choline is vital for healthy brain development in utero and deficiencies can have lifelong consequences, as well as result in birth defects and cognitive disabilities. Basically, without Choline, the brain can’t develop. Choline deficiencies also result in premature aging of the brain. With lifespans becoming longer and longer it’s more important than ever to protect your brain against the possibility of developing Alzheimers and Dementia.
When my second child was born prematurely, I learned another huge importance of Choline supplementation. Brain development occurs mostly in the third trimester. I knew this when my daughter came on Mothers Day at 36 weeks and spent two weeks in the NICU. What I didn’t know is that women who have premature births make less Choline naturally in their breast milk than those who deliver at term. So for mothers of premature babies, taking a Choline supplement is even more important than usual for the right amounts to appear in breastmilk for your babies brain development!
I will never stop taking Choline as long as I live. It is the most important supplement that I take on a daily basis, as our bodies are unable to produce enough for us, so we must rely on dietary supplements. I take Choline because I want my children’s brains to develop to their full potential, and because I want to be a fully involved mother, and grandmother, and possibly even great grandmother. Knowing how Choline affects the brain and how it protects and preserves memory and cognitive abilities, it isn’t something I would risk not taking on a daily basis. (Yes, you can receive small amounts of Choline through food, but you’d need to eat a lot of beef liver in order to receive anywhere near the daily amount through diet alone!)