Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pregnancy: Two eggs a day will keep the NTD's away

If you're a woman who is trying to get pregnant, or who currently is pregnant, you better get cracking; eggs that is.

Eggs are often thought of as an inexpensive source of high quality protein, however, for pregnant women, they also serve another important purpose.

Eggs, specifically their yolks, are incredibly rich in the very important B-vitamin, choline.

Just like Folic Acid, choline taken during pregnancy is shown to be a key factor in the development of infant's memory functions, and in later life, choline may improve memory.

Research has shown that insufficient intake of choline during pregnancy (this research must be done in animals, because it's absolutely NOT ethical to do so in humans) can cause either defective memory or lower memory capacity.

Choline has also recently been shown to protect against the development of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) in women who were currently taking adequate amounts of Folic Acid. Thus, it appears that taking Folic Acid isn't enough to produce the healthiest baby possible.

Each egg yolk contains 125 mg of choline. The National Academy of Sciences recommend that women of childbearing age consume 425 mg of choline per day and those who are pregnant consume 450 mg per day.

Consuming two eggs a day (for breakfast, at lunch, or for dinner) provides you with 250 mg of choline. And, the benefits of including eggs at your breakfast also helps improve satiety. The rest of your choline can come from additional eggs (it's ok to eat more than two eggs a day), or other foods rich in choline, like steak, cauliflower and wheat germ.

Yet, for some pregnant women, the smell of eggs brings on uneasy feelings. In this case, try hiding the eggs in a baked product or perhaps in a salad. If that doesn't work, consider an extra choline supplement as most pre-natal vitamins do not contain enough, if any choline at all (yet... that is going to change very soon).

Eggs also have the benefit of containing beneficial protein, iron, zinc, lutein and zeathanthin - nutrients that support the development of a health baby and a healthy you.

So, as I said at the beginning of this post, "Ladies: get cracking!" Your baby's memory and health will greatly benefit and so will you.
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UofMWolverine81 said...


My wife loves eggs, but should she be careful not too consume greater than a certain number per week? I often hear people mention them as a common source of food intolerance.

Basically I don't want her developing this from her egg consumption, but by the same token I don't want her cutting back on such a nutrient-dense gem like whole eggs simply on account of something that may or may not become an issue.

Cassandra Forsythe said...

OfM, There's been a lot of great research with eggs and pregnancy, and none have pointed to them eliciting food intolerances in babies.

This study here also shows that avoidance of egg and milk during pregnancy does not lessen the occurance of allergies in the genetic prone infant:

Cassandra Forsythe said...

Ok, that didn't link right. Here's the info:

Allergy prevention by maternal elimination diet during late pregnancy--a 5-year follow-up of a randomized study.

The 209 mothers to be, enrolled in a randomized, prospective, allergy-prevention study from allergy-prone families, totally abstained from cow's milk and egg from gestational week 28 to delivery. This article presents the development of allergic disease at 5 years of age in their children, compared with the development of allergic disease in the children of the control mothers who took normal food throughout pregnancy. The prevalence of allergic disease could be evaluated in 198 children (95%). Allergic disease was monitored with questionnaires, skin prick testing, serum-IgE determinations, and physical examination. Eczema, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and asthma was equally common in the groups. Persistent food intolerance to egg was significantly more common in children of the mothers receiving the diet. This long-term follow-up confirms our previous findings that maternal elimination diet during late pregnancy does not prevent the development of allergic disease in the genetically predisposed child.

Brianna said...

I was actually about to ask a similar question. I had a fantastic fantastic fantastic pregnancy and an awesome delivery (felt great through pregnancy, did unassisted pull-ups day before delivery, delivery was 4 hours, all natural, fantastic recovery. In fact, I even miss my pregnancy I felt so good:) I ate eggs everyday. My son had an intolerance to eggs until he was 9 months (he reacted through my breast milk- projectile vomitted every time I tried to reintroduce). Is this just a coincidence then? He also had a casein intolerance until 9 months. Now he seems to not react to anything (either through breast milk or eating it in his own). Could it be that people just assume eating eggs during pregnancy makes kids intolerant, when really some are just intolerant until their digestive systems grow to some extent?

Cassandra Forsythe said...


I think you hit the nail on the head. I don't think we know exactly what is making our children have so many more allergies than children of previous years. I think the best thing is to avoid chemicals, preservatives and all things artificial to give your baby the best chance at an allergy-free life.

Thank you!

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Susan Rodio said...

Great blog, informative and educated. I am pregnant with my first baby and was researching about eggs and other foods during pregnancy, great to read this, am boiling 2 for lunch now for a mashed egg on wholemeal bread sandwich - yum! :)

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