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.
    • "There is insufficient information on what constitutes the optimal micronutrient supplement in pregnancy, what nutrients should be included, in what form, and when they should be taken (Keen et al, 2003). The consensus is that all women of reproductive age in developed nations should be made aware of the importance of a nutrient-rich dietary intake during pregnancy to ensure optimal pregnancy outcomes (Williamson and Wyness, 2013). The use of MMS should be approached with caution. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A pregnant woman’s dietary intake can have a profound effect on the outcomes of pregnancy, and may lead to a risk of disease in the child’s later life. This is particularly the case for some vulnerable groups of pregnant women including adolescents, vegetarians and vegans, underweight women, obese women, and women who have undergone bariatric surgery. These groups present nutritional challenges and may require additional supervision during pregnancy. This paper discusses the effects of dietary supplements in relation to the specific needs of the aforementioned groups in comparison to the needs of the general pregnant population.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2016
    • "Due to the metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy, the need for vitamins by pregnant women increases by 50%. Thus, health professionals recommend the use of vitamin complexes to supplement the demand of micronutrients (British Nutrition Foundation -BNF, 2013; Nakamura et al., 2008; Williamson and Wyness, 2013). It is important to highlight that vitamins, when not used in excess, are included in the risk category A. However, when used in excess, these micronutrients become part of the risk category C, except the vitamin A, which is classified as risk category X. Vitamin A combined to vitamin D is part of the risk category B (Lacy et al., 2008 ). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to characterize the profile of medication consumption by low risk pregnant women and to correlate it with sociodemographic characteristics of this population. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in the Reference Center of Women's Health in the Brazilian municipality of Ribeirão Preto. This study included women which were at least in the 32nd week of the gestation period. Data related to sociodemographic characteristics of the pregnant women and to their pregnancy and medication consumption were collected from June, 2008 to November, 2008. A total of 699 pregnant women were included. About 20% of the pregnant women began prenatal care in the 12th week of gestation and 75.3% had at least six antenatal visits. The use of at least one drug during pregnancy was reported by 98% of the participants. The mean number of medications used was 4.35. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) risk classification, 14.07% of the medication belonged to C category, 1.85% to D and 0.03% to X, and 38.30% were not identified or not classified by the FDA. When correlating the number of prenatal visits with the amount of medication used, it was verified that pregnant women who underwent less than six visits during pregnancy used a higher number of medications. Pregnant women have been exposed to a variety of medications and there is a need to improve the quality of care in order to prevent potential risks to the fetus, especially in relation to the use of medications.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Article · Mar 2014
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