Pre- and Postnatal Health: Evidence of Increased Choline Needs

Cornell University, Division of Nutritional Sciences, 228 Savage Hall, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 08/2010; 110(8):1198-206. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.05.009
Source: PubMed


Choline, a micronutrient found in food, serves as the starting material for several important metabolites that play key roles in fetal development, particularly the brain. Although human beings' requirement for choline is unknown, an Adequate Intake level of 425 mg/day was established for women with upward adjustments to 450 and 550 mg/day during pregnancy and lactation, respectively. The importance of choline in human development is supported by observations that a human fetus receives a large supply of choline during gestation; pregnancy causes depletion of hepatic choline pools in rats consuming a normal diet; human neonates are born with blood levels that are three times higher than maternal blood concentrations; and large amounts of choline are present in human milk. The development of the central nervous system is particularly sensitive to choline availability with evidence of effects on neural tube closure and cognition. Existing data show that the majority of pregnant (and presumably lactating) women are not achieving the target intake levels and that certain common genetic variants may increase requirements for choline beyond current recommendations. Because choline is not found in most varieties of prenatal vitamins (or regular multivitamins), increased consumption of choline-rich foods may be needed to meet the high pre- and postnatal demands for choline.

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    • "Long sleep (9+hrs) was also associated with reduced consumption of theobromine, a methylxanthine found in tea and chocolate and a metabolite of caffeine thought to have some stimulant effects but likely has no psychotropic effects in humans (Benton, 2004). It was also associated with choline, which is an essential micronutrient that is particularly important for fetal development (Caudill, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Short sleep duration is associated with weight gain and obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric illness, and performance deficits. Likewise, long sleep duration is also associated with poor physical and mental health. The role of a healthy diet in habitual sleep duration represents a largely unexplored pathway linking sleep and health. This study evaluated associations between habitual sleep parameters and dietary/nutritional variables obtained via the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2008. We hypothesized that habitual very short (<5hrs) short (5-6hrs) and long (9+hrs) sleep durations are associated with intake of a number of dietary nutrient variables. Overall, energy intake varied across very short (2036kcal), short (2201kcal), and long (1926kcal) sleep duration, relative to normal (2151kcal) sleep duration (p=0.001). Normal sleep duration was associated with the greatest food variety (17.8), compared to very short (14.0), short (26.5) and long (16.3) sleep duration (p<0.001). Associations between sleep duration were found across nutrient categories, with significant associations between habitual sleep duration and proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In stepwise analyses, significant contributors of unique variance included theobromine (long sleep RR=0.910,p<0.05), vitamin C (short sleep RR=0.890,p<0.05), tap water (short sleep RR=0.952,0<0.001; very short (<5hrs) sleep RR=0.941,p<0.05), lutein+zeaxanthin (short sleep RR=1.123,p<0.05), dodecanoic acid (long sleep RR=0.812,p<0.05), choline (long sleep RR=0.450,p=0.001), lycopene (very short (<5hrs) sleep RR=0.950,p<0.05), total carbohydrate (very short (<5hrs) sleep RR=0.494,p<0.05; long sleep RR=0.509,p<0.05), selenium (short sleep RR=0.670,p<0.01) and alcohol (long sleep RR=1.172,p<0.01). Overall, many nutrient variables were associated with short and/or long sleep duration, which may be explained by differences in food variety. Future studies should assess whether these associations are due to appetite dysregulation, due to short/long sleep and/or whether these nutrients have physiologic effects on sleep regulation. In addition, these data may help us better understand the complex relationship between diet and sleep and the potential role of diet in the relationship between sleep and obesity and other cardiometabolic risks.
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    • "B vitamins and methyl-group homeostasis have received considerable attention in recent years, providing a basis for understanding the complex interplay between nutrition and epigenetic modifications of disease-related genes, including those that are involved in aging and in Alzheimer's disease. For example, experimental modification of methyl-group homeostasis through dietary deficiency and supplementation of choline and folate has been shown to exert profound effects on brain development, function, and aging [10] [11] [12], including epigenetic modification and/or aberrant expression of key AD genes [13]. In light of this attention, it has been turned to the potential impact of food folic acid fortification and nutritional status in human metabolic programming [14] [15]. "

    Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research 06/2012; 2012(4):926082. DOI:10.1155/2012/926082
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    • "The induction of apoptosis is caused by a decrease in membrane phosphatidylcholine concentration [109] because this choline ester is needed for normal progression through the cell cycle [110]. Choline insufficiency is considered to be rare in humans and is manifested only during pregnancy, lactation, or starvation/fasting, because normal diets contain sufficient choline [111,112]. "
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