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- 04/26/2021

Maternal Intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin during Pregnancy Is Positively Associated with Offspring Verbal Intelligence and Behavior Regulation in Mid-Childhood in the Project Viva Cohort

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The study aimed to examine associations of maternal lutein and zeaxanthin intake during pregnancy with child cognition. 1580 mother-child pairs were included in a prospective cohort (Project Viva) and dietary maternal intake of lutein and zeaxanthin during pregnancy was assessed together with cognitive performance of their children in infancy and mid-childhood.


Greater maternal lutein/zeaxanthin intake in the first and second semester were associated with better verbal intelligence (main analysis) and better behavior regulation ability (secondary analyses) in mid-childhood Additionally, higher maternal first trimester intake of lutein/zeaxanthin-rich foods was associated with better social-emotional development and behavioral regulation ability in this same age group.


Among 1580 mother-child pairs in Project Viva, a prospective cohort, we assessed maternal intake of L/Z during pregnancy using food frequency questionnaires and offspring cognition by the Visual Recognition Memory paradigm in infancy, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Wide Range Assessment of Visual Motor Abilities (WRAVMA) in early childhood, and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-II), the WRAVMA drawing subtest, and the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning in mid-childhood. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.