The Fetal Nutrients

18 Aug

The Fetal NutrientsDuring pregnancy,malnutrition is a major global health issue that leads to restricted growth of developing fetuses making them more prone to death and disease.As a matter of fact,babies are more likely to develop obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease as adults if the babies born from poorly nourished mothers.

The Fetal NutrientsResearchers from the University of Colorado and University of Texas Health Sciences Center teamed up to examine whether the placenta can sense the nutrient state of the mother and therefore control nutrient delivery to the fetus.Moreover,they studied this in baboons as these non-human primates closely model characteristics of human pregnancy and placental development.Also,they were mainly interested in transport of amino acids (building blocks of proteins necessary for growth) by the placenta.Recently,the findings of this study were published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology,which show that placentas from pregnant mothers who were nutrient restricted weighed 20% less.Moreover, the transport of essential amino acids across the placenta was also reduced in pregnant baboons who experienced nutrient restriction.It reduced transport of essential amino acids,which was associated with reduced amino acid concentration in the developing fetuses.It is thought to be why babies born to nutrient restricted mothers experience reduced growth in the womb.

The Fetal NutrientsFrom the reserch we can know the findings perhaps suggest supplementing malnourished pregnant baboons or humans with amino acids may help increase fetal growth, although more research is needed to verify this.