Health

Building Better Brains

Carolina scientists are finding that babies’ cognitive capabilities begin developing well before birth.

Carolina scientists are finding that babies’ cognitive capabilities begin developing well before birth.

It’s well documented that the health and dietary choices of an expectant mother are interconnected with the health of her child, beginning at conception and continuing throughout the child’s life.

But at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, scientists are discovering that babies get the best cognitive start when their moms eat essential nutrients before and during their pregnancy and that each woman is unique in how much of these nutrients she needs.

Natalia Surzenko, Ph.D., and Dr. Steven Zeisel, the institute’s director, examine why choline is critical for a baby’s brain development. They have found that a maternal diet low in choline during critical stages of embryonic brain development results in offspring with decreased brain size and fewer neurons.

Learn More About UNC Nutrition Research Institute…Opens in new window

Readers Also Viewed...

Health

Obesity: One Size Does Not Fit All

Encouraging innovation and team science

Health

Rethinking Nutrition Education For Doctors

One in four medical school students receive clinical nutrition training...

Health

From Bench to Bedside: Fighting Obesity and Cancer

As obesity and obesity-related cancers continue to rise, Carolina researchers aim to reverse the trend.

Health

Changing Microbiota To Maximize Lives

Carolina researchers are exploring the complex community of microorganisms in our lower intestine...