Maternal under nutrition causes metabolic and other changes in the foetus, which program its metabolic responses following birth for example, a foetus that malnourished adapts by reducing insulin and glucose production.
This is through to program and permanently alter the individual’s glucose and insulin metabolism throughout their life and increase the risk of chronic nutritional disorders including type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and obesity. you can also see
- HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCY BEFORE PREGNANCY
- MALNUTRITION: Health Risks for the Child in Long Term
- MALNUTRITION: HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MALNUTRITION SYMPTOMS.
- MALNUTRITION: SCOPE CAUSES OF MALNUTRITION
- Malnutrition: Malnutrition and its medical condition
For example, one study showed that the lower the birth weights of an infant, the higher the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Men who were born at a very how birth weight were seven times more likely to develop diabetes compared to men born at a high weight. However the effects of maternal under-nutrition vary depending on the stage of pregnancy at which under-nutrition is experienced.
For example, one study reported that exposure to maternal malnutrition in the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of obesity and coronary heart disease, while malnutrition in the second or third trimester was associated with poor glucose metabolism.
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The offspring of woman who experienced under-nutrition during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing;
Type 2 diabetes mellitus;
Dyslipdaemia (abnormal concentration of lipids in the blood);
Glucose intolerance (a pre-diabetes condition in which the body is unable to metabolize glucose normally);
Impaired energy homeostasis (when the body does not function as it should to regulate its energy levels);
Mitochondrial dysfunction (dysfunction of the mitochondria, which is found in the cell nucleus and provides the cell energy);
Oxidative stress (a state in which the body has too many reactive molecules which can causes cell damage);
Cardiovascular disorders; Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, Stroke and Coronary heart disease.
Chronic obstructive lung disease;
Polycystic ovarian syndrome;
Psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia;
Organ dysfunction or abnormal development of organs including the testes, ovaries, brain, heart, liver, small intestine and man many glands;
Reduced adolescent health, especially for females;
Reduced health during adulthood;
Individuals who are born at low weight have a greater risk of poor development outcomes during infancy and childhood. The mother’s nutritional intake before, during and after pregnancy influences their child’s immediate and long term mental development and performance the greatest brain growth occurs between the 3 months before birth and 2 years of age.
It is at this stage that the development of the brain nerves system and connection between nerves is at its peak and so the brain requires the most energy to maintain its growth. The nerve system made during this time impacts the way the brain is structurally and functionally organized (cortical organization) throughout life.
Poor foetal development has been associated with the following adverse health and development outcomes later in life;
Poor performances at school, learning and developing skills;
Reduced ability to perform physical work; and
Reduced economic productivity.