Choline (a nutrient found in beef liver, chicken liver, eggs, bacon and pork) status in pregnant moms has been found to affect cortisol levels in newborns. According to a study published by Jiang X, Yan et al., http://lib.bioinfo.pl/paper:22418088, these pregnant women were given either 930 or 480 mg/day of choline in their third trimester for 12 weeks. The more choline consumed the more was found in moms blood the lower the levels of stress hormone cortisol was found in baby. As you can see from the chart below, current recommendations need to be updated and increased to help promote healthy gene expression and reduce the risk of unwanted health issues.
The Linus Pauling Institute, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/choline/ posted the chart on the Adequate Intake level for choline, however this is not based on the methylation information we now have.
Adequate Intake (AI) for Choline
|Life stage||Age||Males (mg/day)||Females (mg/day)|
|Adults||19 years and older||550||425|
High levels of cortisol is linked to:
Blood sugar imbalances
Anxiety and depression
Impaired cognitive performance
Lower thyroid function
Decreased bone density
It seems that like choline in this study, other nutrients are classified as “methyl donors” folic acid, vitamin B-12, methionine, and betaine all cross the placenta to affect DNA methylation** in baby which in turn affects your genetics and health issues throughout life.
Additionally other nutrients that have similar effects include tea catechins (green tea), resveratrol (wine and peanuts), butyrate (butter), sulforaphane (broccoli) , and diallyl sulfide (garlic), curcumin (curry). These nutrients may change the way enzymes function therefore affecting whether of not we are more vulnerable to certain illnesses throughout our lives.
It is my personal opinion that practical advice on incorporating these nutrients into your daily diet, especially for moms and women who are thinking about having children, should be given by healthcare experts and medical organizations.
Current focus on food groups are important but with the BIG push to eat low-fat and avoid too much weight gain while pregnant, critical components to having healthy babies, kids and adults get lost.
- 2 More Common Nutrient Deficiencies (and What to Do About Them) (marksdailyapple.com)
- Pioneering study shows prenatal choline may ‘program’ healthier babies (eurekalert.org)
- Omelet you in on these yummy high-choline recipes (thetickthatbitme.com)
- 5 Primal Superfoods for Fertility and Pregnancy (marksdailyapple.com)