Pharmavite LLC, the makers of Nature Made vitamins, minerals and supplements, announced the publication of a review paper in the May issue of the journal Nutrients, highlighting current research into the roles of choline and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in maternal and infant nutrition.
National data shows that most adult Americans, more than 90%, do not have adequate dietary intake of choline and DHA, this is found to be especially true in women of child-bearing age and pregnant women. Choline and DHA play a significant role in infant brain and eye development, with inadequate intakes leading to visual and neurocognitive deficits.
The review paper findings suggest a link between intake of DHA and choline, and that an inadequate intake of one or both nutrients may have an impact on baby's brain and eye development. Furthermore, emerging findings illustrate a synergistic interaction between choline and DHA, indicating that insufficient intakes of one or both could have lifelong impact on both maternal and infant health, particularly brain health. Therefore, supplementation of DHA and choline, particularly for vulnerable populations including women during pregnancy and lactation, should be considered.
Susan Hazels Mitmesser, PhD, Vice President of Science & Technology, Pharmavite:
This review paper suggests that prenatal care can be improved with a greater understanding of maternal nutrient needs and how an individual's dietary intake, as well as their genetic and lifestyle factors, may impact metabolism of these important nutrients. As part of prenatal care, it may be beneficial to include testing of key nutrients such as DHA and choline, to ensure adequate intake levels are being met."
Leading health organizations including American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Europe Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and World Health Organization (WHO) have highlighted the importance of several key nutrients during pregnancy, including choline and DHA. The 2018 AAP policy statement emphasized the role of nutrition in the first 1000 days of life, including choline and DHA as key nutrients in supporting early neurodevelopment and lifelong mental health.
Mun, G. et al. (2019) Choline and DHA in Maternal and Infant Nutrition: Synergistic Implications in Brain and Eye Health. Nutrients. doi.org/10.3390/nu11051125