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Eating fry-ups during pregnancy can boost babies' intelligence, research indicates

Eggs and bacon contain the nutrient choline, also found in fish, chicken, milk, pulses, nuts and broccoli

Sarah Young
Sunday 07 January 2018 11:15 GMT
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A Full English could help expectant mothers reach their daily choline recommendation
A Full English could help expectant mothers reach their daily choline recommendation (Getty)

Eating a full English breakfast during pregnancy could increase a babies’ IQ, new research has found.

The study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, revealed that mothers who consumed eggs and bacon during the last three months of their term performed better in tests.

This, it says, is because both foods are rich in a nutrient called choline, which despite being vital during pregnancy, most women do not consume enough of.

The link between increased levels of choline and higher IQ has previously been made in mice but has now also been proven in humans.

Dividing 26 participants into two groups, half the women received 480mg/day of choline, slightly more than the adequate intake level of 450mg/day, and the other 930mg.

Researchers then tested information processing speed and visuo-spatial memory at four, seven, 10 and 13 months of age, the Mirror reports.

They recorded how long each baby took to look towards an image on the periphery of a computer screen, a measure of the time it takes for a cue to produce a motor response.

The test has been shown to correlate with IQ in childhood.

As a result of the findings, Professor Marie Caudill, of Cornell University in New York, has said the recommended daily guidelines on how much choline humans should consume should be boosted, adding “this single nutrient has lifelong benefits”.

However, if the thought of consuming a fry-up doesn’t appeal due to morning sickness, it’s important to note that choline is also found in fish, chicken, milk, legumes, nuts and broccoli.

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