US scientists have found that women who consume food containing the nutrient choline, which is present in things like milk, eggs and broccoli, while they are pregnant could be lowering the risk of their baby later developing either type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
The study, carried out at Cornell University and reported in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, showed that women who consumed 930 milligrams of choline per day in their third trimester of pregnancy was associated with a reduction in levels of the hormone cortisol in their babies by a third. This amount of choline is over double the 450 milligrams currently recommended each day. It is thought that choline could be lowering cortisol by changing gene pattern expressions that are responsible for its production.
Researcher Marie Caudill, commented “The study findings raise the exciting possibility that a higher maternal choline intake may counter some of the adverse effects of prenatal stress on behavioral, neuroendocrine and metabolic development in the offspring.”
She added “A dampening of the baby’s response to stress as a result of mom consuming extra choline during pregnancy would be expected to reduce the risk of stress-related diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes throughout the life of the child.”

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