The 112th Abbott Nutrition Research Conference

July 26 - July 28, 2011 ,
Columbus, Ohio USA
Impact of Pregnancy Nutrition on Offspring Bone Development

Stephanie Atkinson, PhD, FCAHS, McMaster University, Department of Pediatrics, Canada

Several factors other than maternal vitamin D may independently predict neonatal bone mass in offspring, including season of birth/ultraviolet-B exposure, maternal smoking, maternal calcium intake, lower fat stores, and more vigorous physical activity during later pregnancy. Dr Atkinson discusses the role of nutrition during pregnancy on long-term outcomes including sarcopenia and osteoporosis, the association of protein intake and fetal bone health, and the critical periods during pregnancy for bone growth and mineralization. Future investigations in humans will help establish science-based recommendations targeted to pregnant women for intake of vitamin D, calcium, protein, and other nutrients that are important to bone health during fetal development and later in childhood.
Conference Videos
Nutrition in pregnancy presents a window of opportunity to influence the health of the mother as well as that of her child in infancy and later in life. Dr Poston offers an overview of the adverse effects of both undernutrition and overnutrition (ie, obesity) on mother and child. With respect to obesity interventions, Poston suggests that approaches that focus on improvement of maternal glucose tolerance and consequent reduction of macrosomia may be more effective than strategies to limit gestational weight gain.
Extensive studies during the last 20 years have revealed that both low birth weight (especially when followed by accelerated postnatal growth) and high birth weight are associated with metabolic disease later in life. Dr Ozanne describes three categories of mechanisms by which a phenomenon that occurs in early life can have long-term effects on the function of a cell and therefore metabolism of an organism years later. The main goals now in the early programming field are to build on these findings and to translate them into ways to improve human health through development of preventative and intervention strategies.
Epigenetic processes are fundamental to development because they permit a range of phenotypes to be formed from a genotype. Such processes confer Darwinian fitness because the changes are induced in part in response to external signals that indicate to the developing organism critical aspects of the environment in which it will live after birth.
The placenta, the sole transport mechanism between mother and fetus, regulates the transport of all nutrients between maternal and fetal circulation. This organ is at a marked risk for the accumulation of ectopic fat in obese pregnancies, which are linked to increased risk for birth complications and a variety of adult onset diseases.
Optimal Design of Cohort Studies for Maximum Learning
Animal studies show that early life exposures can induce developmental plastic responses, with major long-term consequences for a wide range of metabolic pathways relevant to human health.
Impact of Maternal Obesity on Long-Term Health Outcomes
In the USA one in three women aged 20-39 years is obese. Obesity markedly increases health risks during pregnancy and accounts for as many as half of maternal deaths (UK data).
Impact of Maternal GDM and Obesity on Mother and Fetus
The worldwide increase in obesity among women of reproductive age signals a shift of the global disease burden from acute infectious disease to chronic diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerotic vascular disease, with their associated increase in health care costs
Insights From Body Composition Studies
In females of childbearing potential the prevalence of obesity is approaching 30% and appears to be trending upwards. This rise in the percentage of overweight/obese pregnant mothers is worrisome given the negative long-term health consequences incurred by their offspring
Impact of Pregnancy Nutrition on Cognition
Nutrition plays an important role in supporting structural and functional growth of the human brain from conception, through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.
Impact of Pregnancy Nutrition on Offspring Bone Development
Several factors other than maternal vitamin D may independently predict neonatal bone mass in offspring, including season of birth/ultraviolet-B exposure, maternal smoking, maternal calcium intake, lower fat stores, and more vigorous physical activity during later pregnancy.
Impact of Perinatal Nutrition on Neonatal Immune Response
Newborn exposure to colonizing commensal bacteria, environmental antigens, bioactive dietary substances, and potential pathogens has the potential to cause long-term effects on health. Differences in maternal and neonatal nutritional status are recognized as a source of variation in health outcomes and an avenue for early intervention. Dr Cunningham-Rundles describes the differences between immunogenic and tolerogenic responses on immune development in early life. She also discusses the role of nutrition during pregnancy, its influence on immune development and prevention of allergy, and the potential use of polyunsaturated fatty acids in preventing hyperinflammatory responses in neonates.
Lifestyle Intervention Trials During Pregnancy
Understanding the physical, psychological, social, cultural, and financial barriers that women face in addressing weight control during pregnancy and designing appropriate responses to women's experiences and concerns will improve future behavioral interventions for pregnant women.
Undernutrition and Overnutrition During Pregnancy in India: Dual Teratogenesis
A study conducted by Dr Yajnik in India has shown that a mother's abnormal micronutrient levels (low vitamin B12 and high folate) can predict newborn adiposity (thin Indian babies with a high level of intra-abdominal fat) and a child's increased risk for developing diabetes later in life.
Nutritional Status of Pregnant Women in China
This overview looks at the nutritional status of pregnant women in China, describing the issues related to both undernutrition and overnutrition.
Challenges of Addressing Overnutrition and Undernutrition During Pregnancy in Chile/Latin America
Challenges of both overnutrition and undernutrition face pregnant women in the Chile/Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. Dr Mardones focuses on the need for agreement on maternal anthropometric classification of nutritional status and weight gain guidelines in the LAC region.

*at no charge