Future Directions in Choline Symposium Part Two
Today’s episode was filmed at the Future Directions in Choline Symposium put on by the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute.
Dr. Eric Ciappio and Dr. Jonathan Bortz of Balchem; Dr. Mark Manary, a professor of pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine; Dr. Rima Obeid from Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, Germany; Dr. Susan Smith, Deputy Director of the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute; Dr. Isis Trujillo-Gonzales and Dr. Evan Paules, with the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute; Dr. Bryan White with the University of Illinois
Episode 91: Future Directions in Choline Symposium Part Two
Our show opens with Dr. Eric Ciappio and Dr. Jonathan Bortz of Balchem, summarizing day one’s focus on pregnancy and early life and previewing day two’s focus on the latest choline research targeting adult nutrition. (1:03)
The next guest is Dr. Mark Manary, a professor of pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine. Mark discusses choline and food aid. These specialized food aid products are standardized to meet great deficiency or inadequacy needs. (6:42)
Dr. Rima Obeid from Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, Germany, joins us next. Her presentation focused on choline and pregnancy outcomes. Their research group has found that low or insufficient amounts of choline in the mother’s diet during pregnancy are associated with a higher risk for serious birth defects in babies and liver health issues for the infant. Rima’s future research includes investigating the impacts and interactions of folate and choline consumption during pregnancy on neural tube defects such as spina bifida. (17:18)
Next is Dr. Susan Smith, Deputy Director of the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute. Her research has found genetic variation in choline uptake from the diet. Specifically, Dr. Smith was investigating if choline could be used to treat children who have brain damage from prenatal alcohol exposure, and the answer is yes, it’s very helpful. While we still don’t have a blanket recommendation for how much choline pregnant women should consume, Dr. Smith’s message to pregnant women is that eating enough choline lets your baby achieve its full potential. (23:32)
Dr. Isis Trujillo-Gonzales and Dr. Evan Paules, with the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute, join us. Isis focuses on choline and brain/eye development, while Evan focuses on choline and metabolic health. Dr. Trujillo-Gonzales’s research has found that the neurons in the eye that receive light and connect to the rest of our brain are impacted by choline absorption. Dr. Paules’s research is focused on the metabolic symptoms of obesity and the impact of choline on them. Additionally, increased loss of lean muscle is observed in people who aren’t consuming adequate choline. (32:58)
Dr. Bryan White with the University of Illinois is our next guest, and his area of interest is the microbiome. In particular, he discusses the role of the microbiome in TMAO production. TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) is a metabolite that has been associated with cardiovascular disease. Dr. White got the opposite results of the original paper. (42:25)
Next is Dr. Jonathan Bortz with Balchem Corporation, whose presentation was titled “TMAO and Choline: A Mechanistic Perspective.” Dr. Bortz presented multiple examples of how the concerns about choline with respect to TMAO having a causative effect on cardiovascular disease really cannot be supported. In other words, choline does not represent a risk to any users, young or old. (51:42)
Dr. Julia Maeve Bonner with Sanofi joins us next to give an overview of her presentation about choline and Alzheimer’s disease. In her postdoctoral work at MIT, Dr. Bonner focused on the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, which is involved in making a protein that helps carry fat in the bloodstream. Dysfunction in this process is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. (1:03:00)
To summarize the Future Directions in Choline Symposium, Dr. Dr. Stephen Hursting and Dr. Susan Smith with the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research Institute join us. They give their perspectives on the advancements in the field of choline research and leave us with the take-home message that choline is a critical nutrient for the entire healthspan. (1:22:27)
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