Catherine Adams Hutt: Hi! I am Catherine Adams Hut, Registered Dietician and Science and Nutrition Advisor to the Choline Information Council.
Choline is an essential but widely under consumed nutrient. Only about 10% of the US population is getting enough choline. That means that almost all adults are not getting as much choline as we need for optimal health and well-being.
Just as choline is essential in the development of the brain it is also critical for the development of the mechanics of our eye.
Dr. Steven Zeisel: So choline and eye health is really at the frontier of research thats been done right now. In early studies what we are finding is that the stems cells that will form the retina which is the film at the back of your eye that lets you transmit images to the brain. The retinas development depends on mothers intake of choline during the time that the baby is in the womb.
Now these studies we do in mice and we can show that in mice we have fewer retinal cells formed and that the function of those cells, in other words how the eye sees in the young baby mouse is worse if the mother had low choline versus high choline.
Catherine Adams Hutt: Choline is critical to eye health. Our intake of choline or lack of it in many cases affects how well we see the world around us and how our eyesight changes as we age.
Dr. Steven Zeisel: I would guess within the next year or so we will make big advances and what we know about choline and the eye. For now, its something to think about and another reason besides helping your brain, another reason to be thinking about make it sure that you have adequate choline in your diet.
Catherine Adams Hutt: Choline is an essential nutrient important for the development and proper functioning of the eye at all life stages. Its especially important for pregnant and lactating women to get enough choline so that everyone can have healthy vision for lifetime.