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The Role of Fetal, Infant, and Childhood Nutrition in the Timing of Sexual Maturation

1
Pediatric and Adolescent Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2
Pediatric Unit, “V. Buzzi” Children’s Hospital, 20154 Milan, Italy
3
Laboratory of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
4
Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Service, Unit of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, ICS Maugeri IRCCS, 27100 Pavia, Italy
5
Pediatric Unit, Fond, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo and University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
6
Department of Health Sciences, University of Milano, 20142 Milano, Italy
7
“L. Sacco” Department of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Milan, 20157 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Maria L. Fernandez
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020419
Received: 21 December 2020 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 23 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
Puberty is a crucial developmental stage in the life span, necessary to achieve reproductive and somatic maturity. Timing of puberty is modulated by and responds to central neurotransmitters, hormones, and environmental factors leading to hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis maturation. The connection between hormones and nutrition during critical periods of growth, like fetal life or infancy, is fundamental for metabolic adaptation response and pubertal development control and prediction. Since birth weight is an important indicator of growth estimation during fetal life, restricted prenatal growth, such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and small for gestational age (SGA), may impact endocrine system, affecting pubertal development. Successively, lactation along with early life optimal nutrition during infancy and childhood may be important in order to set up timing of sexual maturation and provide successful reproduction at a later time. Sexual maturation and healthy growth are also influenced by nutrition requirements and diet composition. Early nutritional surveillance and monitoring of pubertal development is recommended in all children, particularly in those at risk, such as the ones born SGA and/or IUGR, as well as in the case of sudden weight gain during infancy. Adequate macro and micronutrient intake is essential for healthy growth and sexual maturity. View Full-Text
Keywords: fetal; neonatal; nutrition; diet; timing; puberty; sexual maturation fetal; neonatal; nutrition; diet; timing; puberty; sexual maturation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Calcaterra, V.; Cena, H.; Regalbuto, C.; Vinci, F.; Porri, D.; Verduci, E.; Mameli, C.; Zuccotti, G.V. The Role of Fetal, Infant, and Childhood Nutrition in the Timing of Sexual Maturation. Nutrients 2021, 13, 419. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020419

AMA Style

Calcaterra V, Cena H, Regalbuto C, Vinci F, Porri D, Verduci E, Mameli C, Zuccotti GV. The Role of Fetal, Infant, and Childhood Nutrition in the Timing of Sexual Maturation. Nutrients. 2021; 13(2):419. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020419

Chicago/Turabian Style

Calcaterra, Valeria, Hellas Cena, Corrado Regalbuto, Federica Vinci, Debora Porri, Elvira Verduci, Chiara Mameli, and Gian V. Zuccotti. 2021. "The Role of Fetal, Infant, and Childhood Nutrition in the Timing of Sexual Maturation" Nutrients 13, no. 2: 419. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020419

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