While I was looking through some of your posts in your website I was hoping to ask you a few questions about your personal experience with choline supplementation. Firstly, why did you decide to go almost exclusively with a salt such as choline bitartrate for your first child vs phosphatidylcholine or choline from lecithin. It looks as though you decided at some point to change this with your second child and go about half with a salt and half with a phospholipid. I was perhaps wondering if you still feel one vs the other is better in terms of potential benefits during pregnancy and specifically for the child. I understand the different bioavailability of the two, but was hoping for your thoughts on other specific mechanisms, (side effects on pregnant female, potency, cost, bioavailability, etc). Also, you must forgive me it has been a while since I took my college biology courses and biochemistry, but were you concerned with a possibility of over-methylation during gestation? I most definitely feel there is a huge advantage to choline, folic acid, and other methyl donors but always want to be vigilant in determining risk vs benefit of a particular amount of supplement. Accordingly did you supplement with 3500 mg of choline bitartrate, yielding approximately, 1400 mg of choline, or was the total amount of choline 3500 mg?
And also I am assuming this amount is based on a daily regimen of 3 times a normal daily intake of approximately 400-500 mg. Also if you don't mind my asking what type and/or brand of prenatal vitamin did your wife use pre, peri and post gestation? And lastly, given the same circumstances would you do anything different specifically (and non-specifically) with the choline supplementation for your children?
My email reply:
Regarding this "why did you decide to go almost exclusively with a salt such as choline bitartrate for your first child vs phosphatidylcholine or choline from lecithin. It looks as though you decided at some point to change this with your second child and go about half with a salt and half with a phospholipid. I was perhaps wondering if you still feel one vs the other is better in terms of potential benefits during pregnancy and specifically for the child"
There is some research on high levels of lecithin being bad for child development - you can find it in http://pubmed.org - it was done back in the 80s - and at high levels - like 15 grams/day. That scared me off the high Lecithin diet - but then with the second pregnancy I decided to try a balanced approach - 50% each. There is no real research data to validate either strategy. Our first child seems to be developing at a faster rate than the second - but that could be due to other factors like a close pregnancy (18 months between births) or stress of having the second child while taking care of the first, and/or my wife getting the flu at the end of the first trimester on the second child. So - its hard to say. We experienced no problems of any kind during the pregnancy or after with the 3.5 Grams/day. Both children started walking at 9 months, both children are advanced for their age - but the first child is much, much more advanced for his age.
In all my calculations I'm calculating the actual amount of choline in the supplement (e.g. in this tablet we used
I calculated 500mg for each tablet - so we might take 7 of these, and this Lecithin (triple strength) at
at 1.14 grams per three capsules - so around 9 or 10 capsules to reach 3.5 grams.During age 6 months to 3 years - I've tried to average about 300 to 400 mg for the children - primiarly via egg yolks (egg yolk omletes, egg yolks mixed with yogurt when they are age 6 months to 1 year), and then egg yolk French toast, etc. mixed with Lecithin ).
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