Undernutrition and Overnutrition During Pregnancy in India: Dual Teratogenesis

Publish Date: 2011
Author(s): C. S. Yajnik, MD, FRCP


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. This low B12 level is attributed to the common practice of vegetarianism in India, while the high folate is possibly because of the prescription of the high-dose folate in obstetric practice. This apparent epigenetic effect shows how India must deal with both undernutrition and overnutrition in pregnant women. Dr Yajnik also describes future perspectives and actions to address these issues.
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Author Bios

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C. S. Yajnik, Md, Frcp

King Edward Memorial Hospital, Diabetes Unit, India
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