Choline - A Neglected Nutrient Vital for Healthy Brains 

How to Give Children the Best Start in Life

A FAB Research Live Webinar and Q&A session
- with Dr Emma Derbyshire and Dr Alex Richardson
With input from Hazel De Maeijer
The video recording of this event - together with downloadable handouts - is available

Choline is an essential nutrient for humans - as we can't make enough to meet the brain and body's needs - but it is seriously lacking from modern, western-type diets.

Most pregnant women and children (as well as most adults) don't consume enough choline to reach even 'adequate' intakes. 

This reflects both changes in eating habits, and a general lack of awareness - because neither dietary guidelines nor public health policy have kept pace with the mounting evidence of choline's importance for both brain and body health.

In pregnancy and early life, choline is essential to support healthy brain development and function, and deficiencies can have lifelong effects. But choline also plays vital roles in brain function at all ages.

Prenatal choline deficiencies increase risks for foetal alcohol spectrum disorders; and increasing evidence indicates that

  • a lack of choline in early life may play a role in common childhood developmental conditions like ADHD, autism, dyslexia and related behaviour and learning difficulties
  • low choline intakes are also linked with¬†memory and attention problems¬†in adults, including age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Hear from two leading experts in nutrition and neuroscience - each with a specialist interest in the role of diet in neurodevelopmental conditions

  • the latest evidence on choline and brain health, and
  • its practical implications for parents, professionals and policymakers.


You will learn

  • Why adequate choline in early life is so essential for brain development and mental health¬†- as well as physical health - across the lifespan.
  • How choline works with other¬†key nutrients¬†to impact brain health and development at¬†all ages
  • How much choline we need from our diets¬†- and why age, sex and genetic factors, as well as pregnancy and breastfeeding, can¬†affect¬†individual dietary requirements.
  • What foods¬†are the best sources of choline¬†- and how to assess possible needs for supplementation¬†
  • What mental or physical signs¬†or symptoms¬†might indicate an increased dietary need for choline¬†- and what factors might suggest an excess¬†
  • How mothers-to-be, and professionals who¬†support them, can ensure optimal choline intakes in early life - for their own health and wellbeing, and their children's¬†
  • What¬†the latest evidence shows about possible links between choline deficiency and conditions like ADHD, dyslexia and autism in children and adults¬†- and the practical implications

Expert speakers and researchers Dr Emma Derbyshire and Dr Alex Richardson will give summary presentations and a live question and answer session.

Don't miss this chance to benefit from their combined wealth of knowledge and expertise in this important but neglected area - and to get your own questions answered. 

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Expert Presentations from:

Dr Emma Derbyshire BSc, PhD, RNutr

Founder and CEO of Nutritional Insight

Dr Derbyshire has a degree in Nutritional Biochemistry, PhD in Human Nutrition specialising in Maternal Nutrition and is a Registered Public Health Nutritionist.

She is a nutrition expert, an established scientist, an award-winning science writer and presenter. She has experience of working in academic, research and consultancy and media broadcasting settings including radio and television.

Read more about Dr Derbyshire here.

Dr Alex Richardson

Founder of FAB Research, world-renowned researcher, author, and educator.

Based at the University of Oxford for 30 years, and now a Visiting Research Fellow at Bournemouth University, the impact of her 90+ publications puts Dr Richardson in the top 3% of academic researchers worldwide.

She is best known for her research into how nutrition (and particularly fatty acids) can affect behaviour, learning and mood, as her pioneering clinical trials were the first to show that dietary supplementation with omega-3 (and omega-6) fats can improve behaviour and learning in children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and related conditions; and that this approach may also help many other children without such diagnoses. She also published some of the earliest reports of successful nutritional approaches to both depression and schizophrenia in young adults, which have subsequently been confirmed and extended by others.

Read more about Dr Richardson here.

Q&A and Discussion Chaired by: 

Hazel De Maeijer

FAB Communications Officer and Volunteer Coordinator

Hazel holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in ‚ÄėNutrition and Behaviour‚Äô, accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN). She also has previous experience as a Learning Support Practitioner for students with special educational needs, and a personal and professional interest ADHD, ASD and related neurodevelopmental conditions. She has already carried out research of her own with higher education students, examining ADHD-type symptoms, mental wellbeing, and dietary omega 3 intakes within this population.

In addition to further research, Hazel is now using her knowledge, experience and skills to assist FAB in develop educational resources for both health and nutrition professionals and the general public, aimed at improving understanding and support to help more neurodiverse individuals achieve their potential.

Read more about Hazel De Maeijer here.


Choline - A Neglected Nutrient Vital for Healthy Brains

How to Give Children the Best Start in Life

Hear from expert researchers and speakers Dr Emma Derbyshire and Dr Alex Richardson for live discussion and answers to your questions - on the importance of choline (and its interactions with other nutrients) for optimal brain development and function; and the practical implications for parents, practitioners and policymakers.


Watch the Webinar for a single payment of


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Watch this webinar and get free access to all other webinars - past and present, and other benefits - by joining as a FAB Associate


All proceeds from this event will go to Food And Behaviour (FAB) Research to support its work Registered Charity No: SC034604, Company No: SC 253448.

"FAB has raised my awareness of the importance of a healthy diet for all, not just those with behavioural issues, problems."

- Early Years Officer, Local Authority

"FAB Research provides a wealth of valuable information which isn't always available elsewhere - and in an easily digested form."

- GP and Medical Advisor

Who is this webinar for?

Anyone interested in how nutrition can affect mental health, wellbeing and performance

- for personal or professional reasons

‚ÄĘ Individuals ‚ÄĘ Students & Researchers ‚ÄĘ Professionals ‚ÄĘ Policymakers

This webinar is designed to help anyone - whatever their background, education and training

1) to understand how food and diet can affect brain health - with a special focus on the role of choline and related nutrients for

  • brain development and function across the lifespan, and
  • neurodevelopmental conditions like ADHD, dyslexia or autism¬†

2) to find out more about the latest research evidence in this area, and its practical implications, including:

  • how¬†mothers and children can best be supported to ensure optimal intakes of choline, and other key brain nutrients,¬†via food and diet, or supplementation if required.
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What is FAB Research?

Food and Behaviour Research (FAB Research), established in 2003 by Dr Alex Richardson DPhil (Oxon), PGCE, FRSA, is a charitable organisation dedicated both to advancing scientific research into the links between nutrition and human behaviour and to making the findings from such research available to the widest possible audience. 

Our mission: We are committed to improving current knowledge and awareness of the effects of nutrition and diet on human behaviour, learning and mood. We aspire to be a leader of scientific research into how nutrition affects the human brain and mind, and an intellectual and strategic force for improving public education and professional practice in this domain.

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