Eggs Across The Lifespan

Eggs contain a number of nutrients that are essential throughout the lifespan:

  • High-quality protein contains building blocks needed to support healthy bones and muscles. Research suggests that exercise, along with optimal protein intake, can slow the effects of sarcopenia or chronic age-related muscle loss.
  • Choline is essential for normal liver function and brain health. It is especially important during pregnancy to support normal fetal growth and development, and most pregnant women do not consume adequate amounts of choline. Consuming eggs during pregnancy is one solution to choline consumption issues.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.

Choline During Pregnancy Improves Infant Cognition

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Choline is hot! In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration established a Reference Daily Intake value for choline of 550 mg. Then in June of 2017, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates recommended the addition of choline to prenatal vitamins because of its essentiality in promoting cognitive development of the offspring. This was followed in August by a study that showed that more than 90% of pregnant women (as well as adults in general) do not consume recommended intakes of choline.

Now the story continues. This month, Dr. Marie Caudill and colleagues at Cornell University published evidence that infants exposed to higher levels of maternal choline (930 mg/day) during the third trimester have improved information processing speed during the first year of life, an indicator of cognition and intelligence. Similar studies have been conducted in rodents and shown that the cognitive effects of maternal exposure to choline last beyond infancy. Whether the same will be observed in humans remains to be determined. But one thing is clear: there’s much to learn about the role of choline in brain development. Hopefully this study will be a catalyst for other scientists to start unraveling the unknowns about this previously underappreciated nutrient.

 

Reference: Caudill MA, et al. Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study. FASEB. 2017 E-pub

Foods and My Baby: Perspectives from a Pregnant Mom

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Featured article in the Fall 2017 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by Rachel Bassler, RDN, CSSD, LDN

Most pregnant women are bombarded with health and nutrition information via handouts from their doctor, advice from friends and family, or pregnancy smartphone apps (confession: I have three). Many times, information is geared towards what foods to avoid like raw meat, fish with mercury, unpasteurized cheeses and alcohol. While this information is extremely important for the health and safety of both mother and baby, it’s also crucial to focus on foods and nutrients that are beneficial during pregnancy.

Continue reading “Foods and My Baby: Perspectives from a Pregnant Mom”

Choline Intakes are Driven by Egg Consumption

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Featured article in the September, 2017 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Taylor Wallace, PhD, CFS, FACN, food and nutrition expert, faculty at George Mason University and blogger at www.drtaylorwallace.com.

Did you know that eggs provide the most choline to the U.S. diet?  Each egg yolk contains about 147 mg of choline or about one-fourth of that recommended on the food label.  Our prior research indicated that about 90% of Americans fall short of their choline intake goals. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for this reason identified choline as an under consumed nutrient in the U.S. diet.  Building on our previous work, our recent analysis “Usual Choline Intakes Are Associated with Egg and Protein Food Consumption in the United States” showed that 92% of pregnant women and 99% of teenagers fail to meet intake recommendations for choline.  Continue reading “Choline Intakes are Driven by Egg Consumption”

Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging Blog Post

September is Healthy Aging Month, a time to focus on the positive aspects of growing older and encourage responsibility for one’s health (physical, social, mental and financial). One way to promote healthy aging is through sound nutrition. Following a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can help prolong a healthy life. Additionally, some foods contain specific nutrients that have been shown to benefit older adults. Continue reading “Healthy Aging Month”