Warning: This article is not providing advice. This article is intended to bring to light the humourous side of Choline.
There’s no doubt that bacon is delicious – but could it even be good for you? We’ve already looked at how bacon can fight hangovers. But there’s even more that bacon can potentially do for you. A study by researchers from the University of North Carolina suggests that bacon might not just only be for grown-ups: the study showed that bacon could be beneficial for unborn children, too.
The reason is because of a special molecule. Bacon – like many meat products – has particularly high levels of a molecule called choline. The researchers of this particular study discovered that when they fed choline to lab mice that were pregnant, they found that the brains of the mice offspring developed differently than the offspring of mice who weren’t fed choline. More specifically, choline seemed to help the rat babies develop larger hippocampuses. The size of a hippocampus is generally associated with memory. In other words, eating choline helped these mice offspring – and could help your baby – develop a better memory.
Stephen Zeisal, one of the scientists involved in the study, said, “Our study in mice indicates that the diet of a pregnant mother, especially choline in that diet, can change the epigenetic switches that control brain development in the fetus.” In normal-speak, that means: Choline (which is in bacon, and other foods) can help make your unborn child smarter.
In contrast, not having enough choline can cause birth defects. Low choline diets have been related to improper brain development conditions like spina bifida. A low choline diet can also increase the chance of a premature birth. In fact, many mothers who are unconsciously limiting the amount of choline in their diet – such as vegetarians – have to try to replace the choline with supplements.
What Else Does Choline Make Better?
Choline is not only an important chemical for brain developments in children. It can also provide protection against other medical problems, such as helping prevent heart attacks and fighting liver disease. It is a basic building block for some other important chemicals in the human body. That’s a lot of things for one little molecule.
Of course, we don’t want you to make any decisions affecting your baby’s health without talking to your doctor first. Every expectant mother needs to consult their trusted physician before doing anything that affects their pregnancy and child. Everyone’s medical history is very different, and your doctor will know what’s best for you. But if you are interested in getting more choline in your diet, talk to your doctor about choline.
If you are a parent, what do you feed your children? Does it include Choline? If you don’t have any children, does your diet include any Choline (example bacon)?
Editor’s Note: We do not endorse this study mentioned above.
Image source by bettina n