Special Issue "Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Josefa Canals Sans
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Interests: child psychiatry; neurodevelopment; epidemiology
Dr. M. Victoria Arija Val
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Nutrition and Public Health Unit, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Interests: pregnancy; iron; nutrition; epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of Nutrients, we would like to bring together papers dealing with the topic of the effect of maternal nutrition on the cognitive development of their children.

The intrauterine environment and, specifically, the nutritional status of the mother is a crucial factor which implies short- and long-term consequences on the health and disease risk in their offspring. The fetal brain is very vulnerable, whereby nutritional alterations in pregnancy play a role on fetal programming of the brain’s development and the consequent cognitive function.

Although the beneficial effects of an adequate nutritional status in pregnancy have been an object of study over the last decade, many questions such as the most vulnerable periods of pregnancy and the recommendations in the population that may improve the cognitive development remain open.

In broad terms, the study of maternal nutrition may include issues about nutrient (macronutrient and micronutrient) or food intake, dietary patterns, anthropometric measures, as well as nutritional biomarkers or nutritional interventions. These topics must be related with cognitive outcomes in the children, which may include the terms of cognitive function, mental development, executive functions, neurodevelopment, or attention, among others.

We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr.  Josefa Canals Sans
Dr.  M. Victoria Arija Val
Guest Editors

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 2400 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

  • Maternal nutrition
  • Child cognitive function
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Pregnancy

Published Papers (7 papers)

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

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051644 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 597
Abstract
The intrauterine environment and, specifically, the nutritional status of the mother are crucial factors that can have short and long-term consequences on the health and disease risk of an unborn child [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Maternal Factors Associated with Levels of Fatty Acids, Specifically n-3 PUFA during Pregnancy: ECLIPSES Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020317 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
An optimal fatty acid (FA) profile during pregnancy, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), is essential for the health of the mother and child. Our aim was to identify the socioeconomic and maternal lifestyle factors associated with serum FA concentration in [...] Read more.
An optimal fatty acid (FA) profile during pregnancy, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), is essential for the health of the mother and child. Our aim was to identify the socioeconomic and maternal lifestyle factors associated with serum FA concentration in pregnant women. A longitudinal study was conducted on 479 pregnant women, who were assessed during the first (T1) and third (T3) trimesters of pregnancy. Data on maternal characteristics, food consumption, and lifestyle were collected. Serum FA concentrations were analysed by a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry combination. The multiple linear regression showed that high educational level and older age were significantly associated with higher EPA and DHA concentrations and lower values of n-6/n-3 and arachidonic acid (AA)/EPA in T1 and/or T3. Regarding diet—fish and seafood consumption increased EPA concentration and reduced n-6/n-3 and AA/EPA values in both trimesters, whereas its consumption increased DHA concentration only in T1. Smoking was associated with lower DHA concentration in T1 and higher values of n-6/n-3 ratio in both trimester. Overweight and obesity were associated with higher values of n-6/n-3 ratio and AA/EPA ratio in T1. A statistically non-significant association was observed with saturated fatty acids (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). In conclusion, high educational levels, older age, fish, seafood consumption, and/or non-smoking, are factors that influence better omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) profile in both trimesters of pregnancy. Further research is needed to go in-depth into these findings and their health consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Homocysteine at Birth and Fatty Acid Desaturase Gene Cluster Polymorphisms Are Associated with Children’s Processing Speed up to Age 9 Years
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010131 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Both pre- and early postnatal supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), arachidonic acid (AA) and folate have been related to neural development, but their long-term effects on later neural function remain unclear. We evaluated the long-term effects of maternal prenatal supplementation with fish-oil (FO), [...] Read more.
Both pre- and early postnatal supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), arachidonic acid (AA) and folate have been related to neural development, but their long-term effects on later neural function remain unclear. We evaluated the long-term effects of maternal prenatal supplementation with fish-oil (FO), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), placebo or FO + 5-MTHF, as well as the role of fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster polymorphisms, on their offspring’s processing speed at later school age. This study was conducted in NUHEAL children at 7.5 (n = 143) and 9 years of age (n = 127). Processing speed tasks were assessed using Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), Children Color Trails Test (CCTT) and Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT). Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, folate and total homocysteine (tHcy) levels were determined at delivery from maternal and cord blood samples. FADS and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677 C > T genetic polymorphisms were analyzed. Mixed models (linear and logistic) were performed. There were significant differences in processing speed performance among children at different ages (p < 0.001). The type of prenatal supplementation had no effect on processing speed in children up to 9 years. Secondary exploratory analyses indicated that children born to mothers with higher AA/DHA ratio at delivery (p < 0.001) and heterozygotes for FADS1 rs174556 (p < 0.05) showed better performance in processing speed at 9 years. Negative associations between processing speed scores and maternal tHcy levels at delivery were found. Our findings suggest speed processing development in children up to 9 years could be related to maternal factors, including AA/DHA and tHcy levels, and their genetic background, mainly FADS polymorphism. These considerations support that maternal prenatal supplementation should be quantitatively adequate and individualized to obtain better brain development and mental performance in the offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Vitamin D Status during Pregnancy on Infant Neurodevelopment: The ECLIPSES Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3196; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103196 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2280
Abstract
Vitamin D status during pregnancy is involved in numerous physiological processes, including brain development. In this study, we assess the association between vitamin D status during pregnancy and infant neurodevelopment (cognitive, language, and motor skills). From an initial sample of 793 women (mean [...] Read more.
Vitamin D status during pregnancy is involved in numerous physiological processes, including brain development. In this study, we assess the association between vitamin D status during pregnancy and infant neurodevelopment (cognitive, language, and motor skills). From an initial sample of 793 women (mean age 30.6) recruited before the 12th week of pregnancy, 422 mother–infant pairs were followed up to a postpartum visit. Vitamin D levels were assessed in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and socio-demographic, nutritional, and psychological variables were collected. At 40 days postpartum, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III were administered to the infants and several obstetrical data were recorded. Independently from several confounding factors, deficient vitamin D levels in the first trimester of pregnancy (<30 nmol/L) predicted a worse performance in cognitive and language skills. Language performance worsened with lower vitamin D levels (<20 nmol/L). In the third trimester, this highly deficient level was also associated with lower motor skills. Vitamin D deficiency was therefore associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcomes. More studies are needed to determine specific recommendations with regard to vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy in order to promote an optimal course for pregnancy and optimal infant neurodevelopment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
Article
Sex-Specific Anxiety and Prefrontal Cortex Glutamatergic Dysregulation Are Long-Term Consequences of Pre-and Postnatal Exposure to Hypercaloric Diet in a Rat Model
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1829; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061829 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 879
Abstract
Both maternal and early life malnutrition can cause long-term behavioral changes in the offspring, which depends on the caloric availability and the timing of the exposure. Here we investigated in a rat model whether a high-caloric palatable diet given to the mother and/or [...] Read more.
Both maternal and early life malnutrition can cause long-term behavioral changes in the offspring, which depends on the caloric availability and the timing of the exposure. Here we investigated in a rat model whether a high-caloric palatable diet given to the mother and/or to the offspring during the perinatal and/or postnatal period might dysregulate emotional behavior and prefrontal cortex function in the offspring at adult age. To this end, we examined both anxiety responses and the mRNA/protein expression of glutamatergic, GABAergic and endocannabinoid signaling pathways in the prefrontal cortex of adult offspring. Male animals born from mothers fed the palatable diet, and who continued with this diet after weaning, exhibited anxiety associated with an overexpression of the mRNA of Grin1, Gria1 and Grm5 glutamate receptors in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, these animals had a reduced expression of the endocannabinoid system, the main inhibitory retrograde input to glutamate synapses, reflected in a decrease of the Cnr1 receptor and the Nape-pld enzyme. In conclusion, a hypercaloric maternal diet induces sex-dependent anxiety, associated with alterations in both glutamatergic and cannabinoid signaling in the prefrontal cortex, which are accentuated with the continuation of the palatable diet during the life of the offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
The Role of Iron in Brain Development: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072001 - 05 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2421
Abstract
One-third of children falter in cognitive development by pre-school age. Iron plays an important role in many neurodevelopmental processes, and animal studies suggest that iron sufficiency in pregnancy and infancy is particularly important for neurodevelopment. However, it is not clear whether iron deficiency [...] Read more.
One-third of children falter in cognitive development by pre-school age. Iron plays an important role in many neurodevelopmental processes, and animal studies suggest that iron sufficiency in pregnancy and infancy is particularly important for neurodevelopment. However, it is not clear whether iron deficiency directly impacts developmental outcomes, and, if so, whether impact differs by timing of exposure or developmental domain. We searched four databases for studies on iron deficiency or iron supplementation in pregnancy, or at 0–6 months, 6–24 months, or 2–4 years of age. All studies included neurodevelopmental assessments in infants or children up to 4 years old. We then qualitatively synthesized the literature. There was no clear relationship between iron status and developmental outcomes across any of the time windows or domains included. We identified a large quantity of low-quality studies, significant heterogeneity in study design and a lack of research focused on pregnancy and early infancy. In summary, despite good mechanistic evidence for the role of iron in brain development, evidence for the impact of iron deficiency or iron supplementation on early development is inconsistent. Further high-quality research is needed, particularly within pregnancy and early infancy, which has previously been neglected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Choline, Neurological Development and Brain Function: A Systematic Review Focusing on the First 1000 Days
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061731 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3023
Abstract
The foundations of neurodevelopment across an individual’s lifespan are established in the first 1000 days of life (2 years). During this period an adequate supply of nutrients are essential for proper neurodevelopment and lifelong brain function. Of these, evidence for choline has been [...] Read more.
The foundations of neurodevelopment across an individual’s lifespan are established in the first 1000 days of life (2 years). During this period an adequate supply of nutrients are essential for proper neurodevelopment and lifelong brain function. Of these, evidence for choline has been building but has not been widely collated using systematic approaches. Therefore, a systematic review was performed to identify the animal and human studies looking at inter-relationships between choline, neurological development, and brain function during the first 1000 days of life. The database PubMed was used, and reference lists were searched. In total, 813 publications were subject to the title/abstract review, and 38 animal and 16 human studies were included after evaluation. Findings suggest that supplementing the maternal or child’s diet with choline over the first 1000 days of life could subsequently: (1) support normal brain development (animal and human evidence), (2) protect against neural and metabolic insults, particularly when the fetus is exposed to alcohol (animal and human evidence), and (3) improve neural and cognitive functioning (animal evidence). Overall, most offspring would benefit from increased choline supply during the first 1000 days of life, particularly in relation to helping facilitate normal brain development. Health policies and guidelines should consider re-evaluation to help communicate and impart potential choline benefits through diet and/or supplementation approaches across this critical life stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop