The Long Term Health Consequences Of Deprived Prenatal Nutrition

3084 Words Apr 6th, 2015 13 Pages
The long-term health consequences of deprived prenatal nutrition are a significant concern on a global scale. Nutrition, as an environmental factor, plays an important role in stimulating alterations in various epigenetic processes such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Specific dietary stressors can create epigenetic variations to the present lifetime but also to successive generations. Epidemiological and experimental studies highlight the association between adult health and early-life maternal nutritional stressors such as under-nutrition, malnutrition and over-nutrition. Gestational maternal nutrition is a critical intrauterine factor which changes offspring epigenome. Numerous animal and human model studies reveal that insufficient and inappropriate maternal diet during critical periods of pregnancy have been associated with many chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes and various cancers in offspring. This literature review aims to highlight health impacts of poor maternal nutrition on progeny adulthood and analyze, through various models of research, the origins and mechanisms of these epigenetic changes. Understanding the basis of early life nutritional programming and its impacts on adult health and longevity is essential to determine preventative measures like nutritional supplements during gestation and to maintain and prolong healthy adulthood.
Many theories and models have been proposed to explain prenatal nutrition and its health…
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