Special Issue "Early Life Nutrition and Future Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Kristin Connor
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Health Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Interests: developmental programming; perinatal nutrition; probiotics; microbes in pregnancy and early life; fetal development; placenta; gut; neurocognitive development; metabolic disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Inequity starts before birth and is programmed in large part by nutritional exposures. These exposures, when occurring during critical periods of offspring development, including preconception, prenatally, and in infancy, can alter a child’s health trajectory and impact the risk for impaired cognition and learning, cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric illness, and diminished ability to contribute to society in later life. This Special Issue on “Early Life Nutrition and Future Health” aims to: (1) Understand the origins of offspring health inequities from an early nutritional perspective; (2) uncover new insights into the environmental, biological, and social mechanisms that underpin these health outcomes in offspring; and (3) present novel approaches to optimise health trajectories and prevent cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric disorders in later life and across generations.

Submissions may include original research, narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. We are interested in highlighting novel mechanistic, epidemiologic, and intervention studies that target key windows where nutrition has the greatest influence on future health (preconception, prenatal, and postnatal periods) and that explore vulnerable populations (or models of these).

Dr. Kristin Connor
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Preconception nutrition
  • Pregnancy nutrition
  • Postnatal nutrition
  • Maternal diet
  • Pre-/probiotics
  • Breast milk
  • Fetal growth
  • Child growth
  • Neurocognitive development
  • Behaviour
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Human Milk Oligosaccharide, Phospholipid, and Ganglioside Concentrations in Breast Milk from United Arab Emirates Mothers: Results from the MISC Cohort
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2400; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102400 - 08 Oct 2019
Abstract
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), phospholipids (PLs), and gangliosides (GAs) are components of human breast milk that play important roles in the development of the rapidly growing infant. The differences in these components in human milk from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were studied [...] Read more.
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), phospholipids (PLs), and gangliosides (GAs) are components of human breast milk that play important roles in the development of the rapidly growing infant. The differences in these components in human milk from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were studied in a cross-sectional trial. High-performance liquid chromatography‒mass spectrometry was used to determine HMO, PL, and GA concentrations in transitional (5–15 days) and mature (at 6 months post-partum) breast milk of mothers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The results showed that the average HMO (12 species), PL (7 species), and GA (2 species) concentrations quantified in the UAE mothers’ transitional milk samples were (in mg/L) 8204 ± 2389, 269 ± 89, and 21.18 ± 11.46, respectively, while in mature milk, the respective concentrations were (in mg/L) 3905 ± 1466, 220 ± 85, and 20.18 ± 9.75. The individual HMO concentrations measured in this study were all significantly higher in transitional milk than in mature milk, except for 3 fucosyllactose, which was higher in mature milk. In this study, secretor and non-secretor phenotype mothers showed no significant difference in the total HMO concentration. For the PL and GA components, changes in the individual PL and GA species distribution was observed between transitional milk and mature milk. However, the changes were within the ranges found in human milk from other regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Association between Early Childhood and Later Childhood Sugar-Containing Beverage Intake: A Prospective Cohort Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2338; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102338 - 01 Oct 2019
Abstract
Sugar-containing beverages (SCBs) are a major source of sugar intake in children. Early life intake of SCBs may be a strong predictor of SCB intake later in life. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate if SCB intake (defined as 100% [...] Read more.
Sugar-containing beverages (SCBs) are a major source of sugar intake in children. Early life intake of SCBs may be a strong predictor of SCB intake later in life. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate if SCB intake (defined as 100% fruit juice, soda, and sweetened drinks) in early childhood (≤2.5 years of age) was associated with SCB intake in later childhood (5–9 years of age). A prospective cohort study was conducted using data from the TARGet Kids! primary care practice network (n = 999). Typical daily SCB intake was measured by parent-completed questionnaires. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using logistic regression. A total of 43% of children consumed ≥0.5 cups/day of SCBs at ≤2.5 years and this increased to 64% by 5–9 years. Daily SCB intake, compared to no daily intake, at ≤2.5 years was significantly associated with SCB intake at 5–9 years (adjusted OR: 4.03; 95% CI: 2.92–5.55) and this association was much stronger for soda/sweetened drinks (adjusted OR: 12.83; 95% CI: 4.98, 33.0) than 100% fruit juice (OR: 3.61; 95% CI: 2.63–4.95). Other early life risk factors for SCB intake at 5–9 years were presence of older siblings, low household income, and shorter breastfeeding duration. Daily intake of SCBs in early childhood was strongly associated with greater SCB intake in later childhood. Early life may be an important period to target for population prevention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Open AccessArticle
Tracking of Dietary Intake and Diet Quality from Late Pregnancy to the Postpartum Period
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2080; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092080 - 03 Sep 2019
Abstract
The present study aimed to characterize dietary intake and diet quality from late pregnancy to six months postpartum. Participants (n = 28) completed 2–3 Web-based 24 h recalls at three distinct periods: (1) during the third trimester of pregnancy; (2) three months [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to characterize dietary intake and diet quality from late pregnancy to six months postpartum. Participants (n = 28) completed 2–3 Web-based 24 h recalls at three distinct periods: (1) during the third trimester of pregnancy; (2) three months and (3) six months after delivery. Energy, macro-and micronutrient intakes (from foods and supplements), as well as the Canadian healthy eating index (C-HEI) were derived from the dietary recalls. No significant variation in energy and macronutrient intakes was observed between time points. The proportion of women taking at least one supplement decreased over time (p = 0.003). The total intake of several micronutrients (vitamins A, C, D, group B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper) decreased significantly over time (p < 0.05 for all micronutrients). The total C-HEI score and its components did not change, except for the total vegetables and fruit subscore, which decreased over time (8.2 ± 2.0 in the 3rd trimester, 7.1 ± 2.2 at three months postpartum, 6.9 ± 2.4 at 6 months postpartum, p = 0.04). In conclusion, we observed a general stability in diet quality, energy, and macronutrient intakes from the third trimester of pregnancy to six months postpartum. However, several micronutrient intakes decreased over time, mostly due to changes in supplement use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Neonatal Consumption of Oligosaccharides Greatly Increases L-Cell Density without Significant Consequence for Adult Eating Behavior
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 1967; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11091967 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
Oligosaccharides (OS) are commonly added to infant formulas, however, their physiological impact, particularly on adult health programming, is poorly described. In adult animals, OS modify microbiota and stimulate colonic fermentation and enteroendocrine cell (EEC) activity. Since neonatal changes in microbiota and/or EEC density [...] Read more.
Oligosaccharides (OS) are commonly added to infant formulas, however, their physiological impact, particularly on adult health programming, is poorly described. In adult animals, OS modify microbiota and stimulate colonic fermentation and enteroendocrine cell (EEC) activity. Since neonatal changes in microbiota and/or EEC density could be long-lasting and EEC-derived peptides do regulate short-term food intake, we hypothesized that neonatal OS consumption could modulate early EECs, with possible consequences for adult eating behavior. Suckling rats were supplemented with fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), beta-galacto-oligosaccharides/inulin (GOS/In) mix, alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides (αGOS) at 3.2 g/kg, or a control solution (CTL) between postnatal day (PND) 5 and 14/15. Pups were either sacrificed at PND14/15 or weaned at PND21 onto standard chow. The effects on both microbiota and EEC were characterized at PND14/15, and eating behavior at adulthood. Very early OS supplementation drastically impacted the intestinal environment, endocrine lineage proliferation/differentiation particularly in the ileum, and the density of GLP-1 cells and production of satiety-related peptides (GLP-1 and PYY) in the neonatal period. However, it failed to induce any significant lasting changes on intestinal microbiota, enteropeptide secretion or eating behavior later in life. Overall, the results did not demonstrate any OS programming effect on satiety peptides secreted by L-cells or on food consumption, an observation which is a reassuring outlook from a human perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Maternal Malnutrition on Gut Barrier Defense: Implications for Pregnancy Health and Fetal Development
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1375; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061375 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Small intestinal Paneth cells, enteric glial cells (EGC), and goblet cells maintain gut mucosal integrity, homeostasis, and influence host physiology locally and through the gut-brain axis. Little is known about their roles during pregnancy, or how maternal malnutrition impacts these cells and their [...] Read more.
Small intestinal Paneth cells, enteric glial cells (EGC), and goblet cells maintain gut mucosal integrity, homeostasis, and influence host physiology locally and through the gut-brain axis. Little is known about their roles during pregnancy, or how maternal malnutrition impacts these cells and their development. Pregnant mice were fed a control diet (CON), undernourished by 30% vs. control (UN), or fed a high fat diet (HF). At day 18.5 (term = 19), gut integrity and function were assessed by immunohistochemistry and qPCR. UN mothers displayed reduced mRNA expression of Paneth cell antimicrobial peptides (AMP; Lyz2, Reg3g) and an accumulation of villi goblet cells, while HF had reduced Reg3g and mucin (Muc2) mRNA and increased lysozyme protein. UN fetuses had increased mRNA expression of gut transcription factor Sox9, associated with reduced expression of maturation markers (Cdx2, Muc2), and increased expression of tight junctions (TJ; Cldn-7). HF fetuses had increased mRNA expression of EGC markers (S100b, Bfabp, Plp1), AMP (Lyz1, Defa1, Reg3g), and TJ (Cldn-3, Cldn-7), and reduced expression of an AMP-activator (Tlr4). Maternal malnutrition altered expression of genes that maintain maternal gut homeostasis, and altered fetal gut permeability, function, and development. This may have long-term implications for host-microbe interactions, immunity, and offspring gut-brain axis function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Resistant Starch Is Actively Fermented by Infant Faecal Microbiota and Increases Microbial Diversity
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061345 - 14 Jun 2019
Abstract
In adults, fermentation of high amylose maize starch (HAMS), a resistant starch (RS), has a prebiotic effect. Were such a capacity to exist in infants, intake of RS might programme the gut microbiota during a critical developmental period. This study aimed to determine [...] Read more.
In adults, fermentation of high amylose maize starch (HAMS), a resistant starch (RS), has a prebiotic effect. Were such a capacity to exist in infants, intake of RS might programme the gut microbiota during a critical developmental period. This study aimed to determine if infant faecal inocula possess the capacity to ferment HAMS or acetylated-HAMS (HAMSA) and characterise associated changes to microbial composition. Faecal samples were collected from 17 healthy infants at two timepoints: Preweaning and within 10 weeks of first solids. Fermentation was assessed using in vitro batch fermentation. Following 24 h incubation, pH, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and microbial composition were compared to parallel control incubations. In preweaning infants, there was a significant decrease at 24 h in pH between control and HAMS incubations and a significant increase in the production of total SCFAs, indicating fermentation. Fermentation of HAMS increased further following commencement of solids. Fermentation of RS with weaning faecal inocula increased Shannon’s diversity index (H) and was associated with increased abundance of Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides. In conclusion, the faecal inocula from infants is capable of RS fermentation, independent of stage of weaning, but introduction of solids increases this fermentation capacity. RS may thus function as a novel infant prebiotic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Social Inequalities in Prenatal Folic Acid Supplementation: Results from the ELFE Cohort
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051108 - 18 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Most professional and international organizations recommend folic acid supplementation for women planning pregnancy. Various studies have shown high levels of non-compliance with this recommendation. This study aimed to identify sociodemographic characteristics related to this compliance. The analyses were based on 16,809 women from [...] Read more.
Most professional and international organizations recommend folic acid supplementation for women planning pregnancy. Various studies have shown high levels of non-compliance with this recommendation. This study aimed to identify sociodemographic characteristics related to this compliance. The analyses were based on 16,809 women from the French nationwide ELFE cohort (Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l’Enfance). Folic acid supplementation was assessed at delivery, and sociodemographic characteristics were collected at two months postpartum. The association between sociodemographic characteristics and compliance with recommendations on folic acid supplementation (no supplementation, periconceptional supplementation, and supplementation only after the periconceptional period) was examined using multivariate multinomial logistic regression. Only 26% of French women received folic acid supplementation during the periconceptional period, 10% of women received supplementation after the periconceptional period, and 64% received no supplementation. Young maternal age, low education level, low family income, multiparity, single parenthood, maternal unemployment, maternal overweight, and smoking during pregnancy were related to lower likelihood of folic acid supplementation during the periconceptional period compared to no supplementation. These associations were not explained by unplanned pregnancy. Immigrant and underweight women were more likely to receive folic acid supplementation after the periconceptional period. Our study confirms great social disparities in France regarding the compliance with the recommendations on folic acid supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Famine During Early Life and Abdominal Obesity in Adulthood: Findings from the Great Chinese Famine During 1959–1961
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040903 - 22 Apr 2019
Abstract
Undernutrition during early life may lead to obesity in adulthood. This study was conducted to examine the relationship between famine exposure during early life and the risk of abdominal obesity in adulthood. A total of 18,984 and 16,594 adults were surveyed in 2002 [...] Read more.
Undernutrition during early life may lead to obesity in adulthood. This study was conducted to examine the relationship between famine exposure during early life and the risk of abdominal obesity in adulthood. A total of 18,984 and 16,594 adults were surveyed in 2002 and 2010–2012 in two nationally representative cross-sectional surveys, namely China Nutrition and Health Survey, respectively. The risk of abdominal obesity was evaluated for participants born during 1956–1961 and compared with that of participants born during 1962–1964. The overall prevalence of abdominal obesity in adulthood showed a positive association with famine exposure during early life. The odds ratios of famine exposure were 1.31 (1.19–1.44) and 1.28 (1.17–1.40) in 2002 during fetal life and infancy and 1.09 (1.00–1.19) in 2012 during fetal life, respectively. The relationships between famine exposure and abdominal obesity across the famine exposure groups were distinct among females and those who lived in urban areas and were physical inactive (p < 0.05). Exposure to famine during early life was associated with increased risks of abdominal obesity in adulthood, which was partially alleviated by healthy lifestyle factors (e.g., physical activity). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Reducing Pup Litter Size Alters Early Postnatal Calcium Homeostasis and Programs Adverse Adult Cardiovascular and Bone Health in Male Rats
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010118 - 08 Jan 2019
Abstract
The in utero and early postnatal environments play essential roles in offspring growth and development. Standardizing or reducing pup litter size can independently compromise long-term health likely due to altered milk quality, thus limiting translational potential. This study investigated the effect reducing litter [...] Read more.
The in utero and early postnatal environments play essential roles in offspring growth and development. Standardizing or reducing pup litter size can independently compromise long-term health likely due to altered milk quality, thus limiting translational potential. This study investigated the effect reducing litter size has on milk quality and offspring outcomes. On gestation day 18, dams underwent sham or bilateral uterine vessel ligation surgery to generate dams with normal (Control) and altered (Restricted) milk quality/composition. At birth, pups were cross-fostered onto separate dams with either an unadjusted or reduced litter size. Plasma parathyroid hormone-related protein was increased in Reduced litter pups, whereas ionic calcium and total body calcium were decreased. These data suggest Reduced litter pups have dysregulated calcium homeostasis in early postnatal life, which may impair bone mineralization decreasing adult bone bending strength. Dams suckling Reduced litter pups had increased milk long-chain monounsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid. Reduced litter pups suckled by Normal milk quality/composition dams had increased milk omega-6 linoleic and arachidonic acids. Reduced litter male adult offspring had elevated blood pressure. This study highlights care must be taken when interpreting data from research that alters litter size as it may mask subtle cardiometabolic health effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Pregnancy Nutrients and Developmental Programming of Adult Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040894 - 20 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Maternal nutrition plays a decisive role in developmental programming of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A variety of nutritional insults during gestation can cause programming and contribute to the development of adult-onset diseases. Nutritional interventions during pregnancy may serve as reprogramming strategies to reverse [...] Read more.
Maternal nutrition plays a decisive role in developmental programming of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A variety of nutritional insults during gestation can cause programming and contribute to the development of adult-onset diseases. Nutritional interventions during pregnancy may serve as reprogramming strategies to reverse programming processes and prevent NCDs. In this review, firstly we summarize epidemiological evidence for nutritional programming of human disease. It will also discuss evidence from animal models, for the common mechanisms underlying nutritional programming, and potential nutritional interventions used as reprogramming strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition and Future Health)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop