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      A Review of the Impact of Dietary Intakes in Human Pregnancy on Infant Birthweight

      * ,

      Nutrients

      MDPI

      maternal nutrition, birthweight, undernutrition, overweight, nutrients, dietary patterns

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          Abstract

          Studies assessing maternal dietary intakes and the relationship with birthweight are inconsistent, thus attempting to draw inferences on the role of maternal nutrition in determining the fetal growth trajectory is difficult. The aim of this review is to provide updated evidence from epidemiological and randomized controlled trials on the impact of dietary and supplemental intakes of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, zinc, folate, iron, calcium, and vitamin D, as well as dietary patterns, on infant birthweight. A comprehensive review of the literature was undertaken via the electronic databases Pubmed, Cochrane Library, and Medline. Included articles were those published in English, in scholarly journals, and which provided information about diet and nutrition during pregnancy and infant birthweight. There is insufficient evidence for omega-3 fatty acid supplements’ ability to reduce risk of low birthweight (LBW), and more robust evidence from studies supplementing with zinc, calcium, and/or vitamin D needs to be established. Iron supplementation appears to increase birthweight, particularly when there are increases in maternal hemoglobin concentrations in the third trimester. There is limited evidence supporting the use of folic acid supplements to reduce the risk for LBW; however, supplementation may increase birthweight by ~130 g. Consumption of whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats throughout pregnancy appears beneficial for appropriate birthweight. Intervention studies with an understanding of optimal dietary patterns may provide promising results for both maternal and perinatal health. Outcomes from these studies will help determine what sort of dietary advice could be promoted to women during pregnancy in order to promote the best health for themselves and their baby.

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          Most cited references 171

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          Prevention of the first occurrence of neural-tube defects by periconceptional vitamin supplementation.

          The risk of recurrent neural-tube defects is decreased in women who take folic acid or multivitamins containing such during the periconceptional period. The extent to which folic acid supplementation can reduce the first occurrence of defects is not known. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of periconceptional multivitamin supplementation to test the efficacy of this treatment in reducing the incidence of a first occurrence of neural-tube defects. Women planning a pregnancy (in most cases their first) were randomly assigned to receive a single tablet of a vitamin supplement (containing 12 vitamins, including 0.8 mg of folic acid; 4 minerals; and 3 trace elements) or a trace-element supplement (containing copper, manganese, zinc, and a very low dose of vitamin C) daily for at least one month before conception and until the date of the second missed menstrual period or later. Pregnancy was confirmed in 4753 women. The outcome of the pregnancy (whether the fetus or infant had a neural-tube defect or congenital malformation) was known in 2104 women who received the vitamin supplement and in 2052 who received the trace-element supplement. Congenital malformations were significantly more prevalent in the group receiving the trace-element supplement than in the vitamin-supplement group (22.9 per 1000 vs. 13.3 per 1000, P = 0.02). There were six cases of neural-tube defects in the group receiving the trace-element supplement, as compared with none in the vitamin-supplement group (P = 0.029). The prevalence of cleft lip with or without cleft palate was not reduced by periconceptional vitamin supplementation. Periconceptional vitamin use decreases the incidence of a first occurrence of neural-tube defects.
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            Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. MRC Vitamin Study Research Group.

            A randomised double-blind prevention trial with a factorial design was conducted at 33 centres in seven countries to determine whether supplementation with folic acid (one of the vitamins in the B group) or a mixture of seven other vitamins (A,D,B1,B2,B6,C and nicotinamide) around the time of conception can prevent neural tube defects (anencephaly, spina bifida, encephalocele). A total of 1817 women at high risk of having a pregnancy with a neural tube defect, because of a previous affected pregnancy, were allocated at random to one of four groups--namely, folic acid, other vitamins, both, or neither. 1195 had a completed pregnancy in which the fetus or infant was known to have or not have a neural tube defect; 27 of these had a known neural tube defect, 6 in the folic acid groups and 21 in the two other groups, a 72% protective effect (relative risk 0.28, 95% confidence interval 0.12-0.71). The other vitamins showed no significant protective effect (relative risk 0.80, 95% Cl 0.32-1.72). There was no demonstrable harm from the folic acid supplementation, though the ability of the study to detect rare or slight adverse effects was limited. Folic acid supplementation starting before pregnancy can now be firmly recommended for all women who have had an affected pregnancy, and public health measures should be taken to ensure that the diet of all women who may bear children contains an adequate amount of folic acid.
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              Unintended pregnancy in the United States: incidence and disparities, 2006.

              The incidence of unintended pregnancy is among the most essential health status indicators in the field of reproductive health. One ongoing goal of the US Department of Health and Human Services is to reduce unintended pregnancy, but the national rate has not been estimated since 2001. We combined data on women's pregnancy intentions from the 2006-2008 and 2002 National Survey of Family Growth with a 2008 national survey of abortion patients and data on births from the National Center for Health Statistics, induced abortions from a national abortion provider census, miscarriages estimated from the National Survey of Family Growth and population data from the US Census Bureau. Nearly half (49%) of pregnancies were unintended in 2006, up slightly from 2001 (48%). The unintended pregnancy rate increased to 52 per 1000 women aged 15-44 years in 2006 from 50 in 2001. Disparities in unintended pregnancy rates among subgroups persisted and in some cases increased, and women who were 18-24 years old, poor or cohabiting had rates two to three times the national rate. The unintended pregnancy rate declined notably for teens 15-17 years old. The proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion decreased from 47% in 2001 to 43% in 2006, and the unintended birth rate increased from 23 to 25 per 1000 women 15-44 years old. Since 2001, the United States has not made progress in reducing unintended pregnancy. Rates increased for nearly all groups and remain high overall. Efforts to help women and couples plan their pregnancies, such as increasing access to effective contraceptives, should focus on groups at greatest risk for unintended pregnancy, particularly poor and cohabiting women. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nutrients
                Nutrients
                nutrients
                Nutrients
                MDPI
                2072-6643
                29 December 2014
                January 2015
                : 7
                : 1
                : 153-178
                Affiliations
                Robinson Research Institute, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, Adelaide University, Lyell McEwin Hospital, Haydown Road, Elizabeth Vale, SA 5112, Australia; E-Mail: vicki.clifton@ 123456adelaide.edu.au
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: jessica.grieger@ 123456adelaide.edu.au ; Tel.: +61-8-8133-2132; Fax: +61-8-8282-1646.
                Article
                nutrients-07-00153
                10.3390/nu7010153
                4303831
                25551251
                © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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