A new dietary guidelines report warns that Americans are not getting enough of the vital nutrient, choline, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and growing children,media slashGear reported. Earlier this year, another study warned that vegetarians and vegetarians are struggling to get enough of this nutrient to put them at risk of long-term health consequences, including poor memory.
A new report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) warns that Americans are not getting enough choline in their diet, an important nutrient found in some animal products and many types of plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables. Choline is necessary for the human body to synthesize two main phospholipids — oxamelin and phosphatidylcholine– both of which are required by cell membranes. At the same time, this nutrient is essential for brain health — it is used to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which maintains the health of the nervous system and brain.
The new report warns that most Americans are not getting enough choline. This nutrient is especially important at certain stages of life, including in infancy and early childhood. Pregnant women in particular were found to be very deficient in this nutrient, with only 8 percent reaching the recommended level, the report said.
Previous studies have found that vegetarians and vegans are also prone to this nutrient because of a lack of animal products in their diets. The new report warns that children between the ages of 9 and 14 are also often deficient in this nutrient. The report encourages the use of supplements to compensate for the lack of this nutrient level obtained through food.
Dr. Marie Caudill, a choline researcher and professor at Cornell University, explains:
The commission’s scientific report reveals growing evidence that choline plays a vital role in health at a particular stage of life. Unfortunately, consumer data tell us that choline intake is generally inadequate and, worryingly, those who benefit most from choline, such as pregnant women, lactating women and infants, are not meeting their intake targets. In fact, only 8% of pregnant women meet the choline recommendations.