Washington, Jan 5 (ANI): Expectant mothers have finally got a reason to eat bacon and eggs - a new study has shown that an ingredient, commonly found in such products, plays a critical role in development of fetal brains.
North Carolina researchers showed that choline plays a critical role in helping fetal brains develop regions associated with memory.
"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" said Steven Zeisel, the senior scientist involved in the work and a senior member of the FASEB Journal's editorial board.
"Understanding more about how diet modifies our genes could be very important for assuring optimal development," Zeisel added.
Zeisel and colleagues made this discovery by feeding two groups of pregnant mice different diets during the window of time when a fetus develops its hippocampus, that part of the brain responsible for memory.
"We may never be able to call bacon a health food with a straight face, but the emerging field of epigenetics is already making us rethink those things that we consider healthful and unhealthful," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal.
"This is yet another example showing that good prenatal nutrition is vitally important throughout a child's entire lifetime," Weissmann added. (ANI)