Nutrition During Pregnancy Is Extremely Important During Fetal Growth And Development

1784 Words Dec 15th, 2015 8 Pages
It is in human nature to want better for your children than you previously had
Nutrition during pregnancy is extremely important during fetal growth and development
Micronutrients are necessary for normal growth and development of the fetus and deficiencies have been found to be associated with fetal growth retardation and small for gestational age infants (9). Even some animal models have shown that micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy can potentially increase adiposity to the offspring at birth (9).
Epigenetics are a relatively new discovery in the field of genetics. An epigenome literally means above the genome. An epigenome can be a wide variety of mechansims from what someone eats, to what someone is exposed to and to even what activities one does. Environmental exposures modify development through epigenetic mechanisms that program metabolic changes in gene activity and not the structure of the DNA (4). Epigenetic mechanisms alter growth and development by either silencing certain genes or activating others (4).
The concept that maternal nutrition can influence the developing fetus and neonate by altering DNA methylation patterns and altering gene expression patterns is supported by experimental animal models (1). These changes persist throughout the lifetime of the animal and can result in increased risk of conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome that increase the risk of adult diseases including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers (1).…
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