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Nutrient May Protect Babies' Brains From Alcohol

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Scientists plan to study whether a prenatal nutrient can protect the brains of babies whose mothers drink during pregnancy.

The study of pregnant women in Ukraine will examine the effects of choline, which is found in foods such as liver and eggs, the Associated Press reported.

The researchers are recruiting women who admit they drink while pregnant. The women would be counseled to stop drinking and then randomly selected to take either a standard vitamin supplement every day, or that vitamin plus 750 milligrams of choline. Currently, pregnant women are advised to get 450 milligrams per day of choline from food.

So far, about 120 of the planned 600 participants have been enrolled in the study. Preliminary results may be available within a year, the AP reported.

This is just one of a number of efforts to find ways to protect the brains of babies whose mothers drink while pregnant, including treatment with thyroid hormones and zinc.

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