Effect of Maternal Choline Intake on Choline Status and Health Biomarkers During Pregnancy and Lactation

2014-08-27 03:13:33 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of varied maternal choline intake on maternal/fetal biomarkers of choline status, genomic expression and metabolomic profiling.


Choline is a micronutrient used for the structural integrity of cell membranes, lipid transport/metabolism, methylation reactions and cholinergic neurotransmission. Prenatal and early postnatal choline exposure plays a critical role in brain development and cognition based on animal data. Although it is recognized that choline use is particularly high during pregnancy and lactation, the level of choline intake needed to optimize maternal and fetal health outcomes is unknown. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the metabolic and genomic effects of two doses of choline intake, 450 mg/d (the adequate intake level) and 900 mg/d in pregnant, lactating, and nonpregnant control women. A secondary objective is to examine the effect of extra maternal choline intake on the child's cognitive performance (i.e, learning, memory and attention). To accomplish these objectives, pregnant women (wk 27 gestation), nonpregnant control women, and lactating women will consume controlled choline intakes of 450 or 900 mg/d for 10 to 12 weeks. The basal diet will provide 350 mg/d; supplemental choline chloride, 100 or 550 mg/d, will be used to achieve the target intake levels. During the last half of the study, a small portion (~ 20%) of the total choline intake will be derived from deuterium labeled choline, a stable isotope. Blood, urine and/or breast milk will be collected at baseline and at select timepoints throughout the study duration. For pregnant women, a maternal blood sample will be obtained at the time of delivery along with a cord blood sample and the placental tissue. Genomic and metabolomic profiling will be performed on the collected biological samples along with specific measurements of choline status. Non-invasive tests assessing cognitive function will be performed on the children of the pregnant and lactating study participants. Because of the highly controlled nutrient intake throughout the duration of this study, IRB approval was sought and obtained for assessing status indicators for other micronutrients including biotin and vitamin D.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Basic Science




choline chloride, Choline Chloride


Human Metabolic Research Unit, Cornell University
New York
United States




Cornell University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:13:33-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Donor of choline in biosynthesis of choline-containing phosphoglycerides.

An enzyme that is active in the first step of choline phosphoglyceride (lecithin) biosynthesis by catalyzing the phosphorylation of choline to phosphorylcholine in the presence of ATP. Ethanolamine and its methyl and ethyl derivatives can also act as acceptors. EC

A condition produced by a deficiency of CHOLINE in animals. Choline is known as a lipotropic agent because it has been shown to promote the transport of excess fat from the liver under certain conditions in laboratory animals. Combined deficiency of choline (included in the B vitamin complex) and all other methyl group donors causes liver cirrhosis in some animals. Unlike compounds normally considered as vitamins, choline does not serve as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions. (From Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)

An enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of cytidylate (CMP) to choline phosphate to form CDPcholine. It is the rate-limiting enzyme in the choline pathway for the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine. Its activity is increased by glucocorticoids. EC

An enzyme that catalyzes the formation of acetylcholine from acetyl-CoA and choline. EC

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