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Maternal nutrition and its effects on fetal neurodevelopment.

Nutrition 2024 May 10
Herein, we present a thorough examination of the impact of maternal nutrition on fetal and infant neurodevelopment, focusing on specific nutrients and their critical roles in perinatal and pediatric health. Through a comprehensive narrative review of the literature, this study highlights the importance of a balanced maternal diet rich in nutrients like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), folic acid, iron, and iodine in shaping children's neurological functions. Key findings underscore the influence of maternal nutrition during pregnancy and the peri-gestational period on children's cognitive, motor, speech, and socio-emotional development. Deficiencies in essential nutrients, such as DHA, are linked to adverse long-lasting outcomes such as premature birth and intrauterine growth restriction, where a suitable intake of iron and folic acid is vital to prevent neural tube defects and promote healthy brain development. We highlight areas requiring further investigation, particularly regarding iodine's impact and the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. In conclusion, this research sheds light on our current understanding of maternal nutrition and child neurodevelopment, offering valuable insights for health professionals and researchers.

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