CHENNAI: Medicos always stress on the significance of nutrients for good maternal health and the impact of micro-nutrients has been highlighted by a recent study. A study published in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry, reveals that maternal diet rich in added nutrient 'choline' can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease in the offspring.
The study done at Arizona State University and Translational Genomics Research Institute stated that maternal choline supplementation had protective effect on multiple generations. Choline is one of the essential nutrients needed for early brain development, growth of neural tube and the preservation of cell structure.
Meat, fish, eggs, soybeans, nuts, whole grains, seeds and dairy products are rich sources of choline. Not only choline supplementation prevents or treats inflammatory response during pregnancy that causes pre-term birth, but helps to prevent Alzheimer's in the future generations.
The study was performed on two generations of mice that were genetically prone to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease from females whose diet contained added choline.
The offspring of these female mice developed low disease-associated brain changes than those without choline supplemented diet. It was also found that dietary supplementation of choline also helped to improve memory skills as choline helps to assist brain development.
The study also revealed that the effect of choline supplementation not only helped to have benefited the immediate generation, but also future generations.
Researchers say that Alzheimer's disease develops due to high levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the brain, however, choline slows down this decline buy converting homocysteine to methionine, which is good for the brain.
Various studies say that lack of nutrients during pregnancy can affect the cognitive functioning in the child, therefore, nutrient supplementation is of
significance during pregnancy.