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2013-01-23

Prenatal Choline and Schizophrenia Risk

According to a new randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial, pregnant women may want to take supplements containing the essential nutrient choline during the last two trimesters of pregnancy and in early infancy.

"Genes associated with schizophrenia are common, so prevention has to be applied to the entire population, and it has to be safe,” explained the researchers. “Basic research indicates that choline supplementation during pregnancy facilitates cognitive functioning in offspring.”

In this study, 100 healthy pregnant women started choline supplementation in the second trimester and continued until delivery. Half the women were given 3600 mg of phosphatidylcholine every morning and another 2700 mg in the evening. The other half acted as the control group and took placebo.

After delivery, the infants received 100 mg/day of phosphatidylcholine per day or placebo. 86% of infants exposed to pre- and postnatal choline supplementation (compared to 43% in the placebo group) showed signs of reduced schizophrenia risk.

According to this newly published study, perinatal choline supplementation improves the development of cerebral inhibition in infants, finding that mothers who consumed the nutrient were less likely to have children with early risk factors for the schizophrenia in later life.

Source: Perinatal Choline Effects on Neonatal Pathophysiology Related to Later Schizophrenia Risk

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