Nutritional requirements in pregnancy and use of dietary supplements


A new British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Task Force report has been published, which looks in detail at the impact of early life nutrition on health and the risk of diseases in later life, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, bone health, allergic disease and cognitive function. One of the aspects that the report covers in detail is the health and nutrition of pregnant women and where improvements in the maternal diet could be made. This article focuses on the report's findings with regard to the essential nutrients folic acid and vitamin D, including current intakes and status, uptake of supplements and vulnerable groups that are falling short of dietary guidelines.

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    ABSTRACT: This article is a comprehensive review on developmental origins of health and disease regarding various factors related to the origins of cardiovascular diseases from early life. It presents a summary of the impacts of various factors such as epigenetics; gene-environment interaction; ethnic predisposition to cardiovascular diseases and their underlying risk factors; prenatal factors; fetal programming; maternal weight status and weight gain during pregnancy; type of feeding during infancy; growth pattern during childhood; obesity; stunting; socioeconomic status; dietary and physical activity habits; active, secondhand, and thirdhand smoking, as well as environmental factors including air pollution and global climate change on the development and progress of cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. The importance of early identification of predisposing factors for cardiovascular diseases for primordial and primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases from early life is highlighted.
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    ABSTRACT: A healthy diet around pregnancy and breastfeeding, which provides adequate nutrients for the mother and her developing baby, is important to ensure optimal health for both. Suboptimal nutrient intakes-or intakes that are too high-can have a detrimental impact on the mother and her infant in both the short and long term. Even with a healthy diet, supplementation of some vitamins is recommended to meet requirements. This article discusses key vitamins required around the time of pregnancy and during breastfeeding-folate and vitamins A, B and D-exploring how adequate intake can be ensured.
    British Journal of Midwifery 10/2015; 23(10):695-701. DOI:10.12968/bjom.2015.23.10.695