New Research on Diet and Supplements During Pregnancy and Beyond

Scientists announce findings on use of supplements and eating well when you’re expecting


Newswise — Baltimore (June 9, 2019) – The foods and nutrients a woman consumes while pregnant have important health implications for her and her baby. Nutrition 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, will feature new research on prenatal vitamins, infant supplements and the impacts of a mother’s diet during pregnancy and after the baby is born. 

Nutrition 2019 is being held June 8-11, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Contact the media team for more information or to obtain a free press pass to attend the meeting.

Studies examine dosage and labeling of common supplements 

Many prenatal supplements contain too much folic acid

Consuming folic acid prior to pregnancy helps prevent birth defects. But a new study found most prenatal supplements were labeled as containing more folic acid than the current recommended daily intake. The study also revealed different agencies and scientific bodies provide conflicting messaging around the optimal intake of folic acid (from supplements) and folate (from food) during pregnancy. Nancy Potischman, National Institutes of Health, will present this research on Sunday, June 9, from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Halls A-B (poster #268) (abstract). 

Prenatal vitamins often have nutrient content higher than labeled

Chemical analysis of the contents of 24 prenatal multivitamins representing about 60 percent of the prenatal multivitamin products sold through U.S. pharmacies in 2015-2016 revealed that most contained greater quantities of vitamins and minerals than was declared on the label, perhaps to account for possible losses during storage. The greatest difference was seen for vitamin D, with supplements containing an average of 29 percent more vitamin D than was indicated on product labels. By offering a more accurate picture of supplements’ contents, the findings can help scientists who study the impacts of nutrients on health outcomes, researchers say. Karen W. Andrews, U.S. Department of Agriculture, will present this research on Sunday, June 9, from 4:45 – 5:00 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Room 317 (abstract). 

Vitamin D supplementation improves babies’ growth

Babies born with low stores of vitamin D can have problems with bone growth, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children get at least 400 International Units of the vitamin each day. In a recent clinical trial, newborns with low vitamin D stores who were given a higher dosage (1,000 IU/day) of vitamin D supplementation more rapidly built up their stores and gained more lean body mass by six months of age compared to those given the standard of care (400 IU/day).  Compared to a group of infants born with very good vitamin D stores, the babies receiving the 1,000 IU/day intervention appeared to have normal lean mass. Maryam Razaghi, McGill University, will present this research on Monday, June 10, from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Halls A-B (poster #301) (abstract). 

Insights on staying healthy when you’re ‘eating for two’ 

Evidence that eating well before pregnancy lowers risk of preeclampsia

While scientists aren’t sure what causes the dangerous pregnancy complication preeclampsia, or how to prevent it, a new study suggests diet plays a role. Among more than 20,000 pregnancies, researchers found women who followed a healthier diet before getting pregnant were significantly less likely to develop preeclampsia. Diet quality was assessed based on adherence to the American Heart Association dietary recommendations and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) dietary pattern. Mariel Arvizu, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will present this research on Tuesday, June 11, from 11:45 a.m. – noon in the Baltimore Convention Center, Room 317 (abstract). 

New insights on pregnancy and obesity

Obesity before pregnancy increases the risk of some health problems for a pregnant woman and her baby, but current recommendations to minimize these risks do not differentiate between mild and severe obesity. A new study of more than 25,000 women found those with more severe obesity gained less weight during pregnancy, but had larger babies, than those with less severe obesity. These results suggest the risks and optimal management of obesity during pregnancy may vary depending on severity. This study also found only one in five obese women gained the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy while 60 percent gained excessive weight. Amy R. Nichols, The University of Texas at Austin, will present this research on Monday, June 10, from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, Halls A-B (poster #227) (abstract). 

Images available. 

This release may include updated numbers or data that differ from those in the abstract submitted to Nutrition 2019. 

Please note that abstracts presented at Nutrition 2019 were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.

About Nutrition 2019

Nutrition 2019 is the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition held June 8-11, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It is the national venue for more than 3,600 top researchers, practitioners and other professionals to announce exciting research findings and explore their implications for practice and policy. Scientific symposia address the latest advances in cellular and physiological nutrition and metabolism, clinical and translational nutrition, global and public health, population science, and food science and systems. www.nutrition.org/N19 #Nutrition2019 

About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice and education. www.nutrition.org 

Find more news briefs and tipsheets at: https://www.eurekalert.org/meetings/nutrition/2019/newsroom/.

 

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