New research says that pregnant women who don’t have enough vitamin B could put their babies in risk of brain diseases. So apart from taking flu shots, women should ensure proper intake of vitamin B during pregnancy. The study showed that higher levels of choline a water-soluble compound, which is often categorised together with vitamin B complex due to their similarities, can prevent brain illnesses and mental problems such as attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia.
Professor Robert Freedmen at the University of Colorado said that cold and flu are often unavoidable even after a flu shot. But cold and flu during pregnancy can double the risk of future mental illnesses and prevent the baby’s brain from developing normally. Home Remedy of the Week: Cure Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy with Ginger.
Higher levels of choline prevent foetal brain problems even when the mother is infected. “Choline supplements in pregnancy can have a lifelong benefit for the infant,” says Freedman.
The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Paediatrics. The team of researchers assessed prenatal maternal infection, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is a marker of inflammation in pregnant women, and the mothers’ choline levels.
The babies brain development was measured using their brain waves soon after birth. When the mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the infants ability to stop or delay the effects on the brain decreased by 27 percent.
Maternal flu can also decrease the children’s ability to pay attention and play. While the body creates choline, the nutrient can also be found in certain foods. Here are some of its richest sources:
- Dark leafy vegetables
- Brussels sprouts
- Cooked bok choy
Mothers should ensure the intake of choline-rich foods by consulting their gynaecologists first.
(With IANS inputs)