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Transcript of “Discover Mother Nature’s must have nutrient for pregnant women””
Every Mom understands – she is eating for two. So, it is vitally important to eat a balanced diet, during pregnancy and lactation.
But, not all nutrients are equally important.
There are a few, Mother Nature considers VERY important. One of these nutrients is choline.
If you’re thinking, I’ve never heard of it. I don’t think it is even in my prenatal vitamin supplement. Are you sure it is that important ?
Well, don’t take my word for it…………..
The choline stock pile
A human baby, is born with significantly higher levels of choline, doing the rounds, than an adult – so clearly Mother Nature, considers choline important for proper development. Interestingly, these high levels persist for the first year of life. Only around the 12 month mark, do the choline levels finally drop down to “NORMAL”.
To achieve these levels takes HARD WORK.
The choline pump
Both the placenta and mammary glands actively pump choline.
The placenta uses blood, sweat and tears, to deliberately move choline, across the border – it will steal Mom’s choline, if necessary. Once baby is born, the mammary gland takes over the role of choline provider. The choline is extracted from Mom, then pumped directly into the breast milk.
So why is it so important ?
It’s used for………
Building “baby” cells
Choline is a structural component of the membranes of cells – so every cell, needs a little.
But, choline does more than help hold the contents of the cell together, it also plays a role in communication. Choline is converted to acetylcholine, in this form, it acts as a key neurotransmitter – allowing a variety of neurons, both inside and outside the brain, to talk to one another.
But, that’s not all………….
Choline is involved in regulating other genes.
It quite literally turns them on and off, by acting as a methyl donor. It is flipping the switches in neuronal (baby brain) and endothelial cells. It is this role, that is probably the most important and the reason why Mother Nature MAKES SURE, baby has enough choline.
So where does it come from ?
You should eat it
It’s primarily found in animal proteins.
Eggs and liver provide the highest levels………but, you can get it by eating beef, chicken, fish and drinking milk.
As a rule, plant based foods are not good sources.
Regrettably, it is one of the nutrients, lots of people don’t get enough of. And unlike folates (folic acid), which also act as methyl donors, switching genes on and off, it doesn’t get as much publicity.
Fortunately, it is so important………………… Mother Nature has a back up plan – you can make it.
You can make it
And you make more of it, during pregnancy.
The enzyme responsible for this wizardry, is phosphatidylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase, PEMT for short – this enzyme is able to turn phosphatidylethanolamine to phosphatidylcholine. And this can be turned into choline.
Estrogen gets the reaction going.
And, since during pregnancy, estrogen levels are sky high – this alternative pathway, helps make sure, baby is taken care of. And protects pre-menopausal women from choline deficiency.
If you can’t make it
Some people have a slightly wonky PEMT enzyme.
It works okay. It just doesn’t respond to the sexy bomb-shell estrogen, which means the supply of choline, during pregnancy, can be limited.
It’s not a serious problem, when you eat enough choline.
But, if you don’t, the back up plan, designed to keep the choline pump flowing, fails to kick in. Leaving baby short changed….
Choline deficiency is linked to birth defects and short fuses.
Stack the deck
Mother Nature has stacked the deck………
She wants baby to get all the choline needed to develop properly.
Unfortunately, many women, get dealt a poor hand, they inherit the variant of the PEMT gene, that can’t make a plan. That leaves baby vulnerable to shortages.
Be safe, eat choline-rich foods, it is one nutrient your baby, can’t go without.
At the time of conception there is a big switch-athon, hundreds of genetic switches are flipped. That switch-athon depends on your Mom’s dietary habits.
The idea of BAD GENES and GOOD GENES is too simplistic. There is a gene-environment enigma, success is all about possessing the RIGHT gene for a particular environment.
Supplementing with fish oil in the second half of pregnancy helps create a highly co-ordinated chatter box two year old. This is an advantage, I promise.