Choline: Exploring the Growing Science on Its Benefits for Moms and Babies
Program in Biochemistry, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10016, USA
Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081823
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 7 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choline as an Essential Nutrient—Metabolism, Requirements throughout Lifespan and Clinical Impact)
The importance of ensuring adequate choline intakes during pregnancy is increasingly recognized. Choline is critical for a number of physiological processes during the prenatal period with roles in membrane biosynthesis and tissue expansion, neurotransmission and brain development, and methyl group donation and gene expression. Studies in animals and humans have shown that supplementing the maternal diet with additional choline improves several pregnancy outcomes and protects against certain neural and metabolic insults. Most pregnant women in the U.S. are not achieving choline intake recommendations of 450 mg/day and would likely benefit from boosting their choline intakes through dietary and/or supplemental approaches.