Special Issue "Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dominique Darmaun
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Nantes, Nantes, France, and French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRAE)
Interests: developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD); pediatric nutrition; fetal and neonatal nutrition; protein metabolism; nutritional imprinting
Dr. Clair-Yves Boquien
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
French National Institute for Agricultural Research(INRAE) Center Pays de la Loire: Nantes, Pays de la Loire, Human Nutrition Research Center (CRNH-Ouest) Nantes, France
Interests: preterm infant growth; nutritional programming; breast milk

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit manuscripts to this Issue entitled “Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome”.

Early life─the so-called “first 1000 days” between the time of conception to the child’s second birthday─has long been known to be a period of tremendous body growth and development, with a tripling of fetal weight in the third trimester of pregnancy, and yet another tripling between birth and 1 year of age. This is especially true regarding brain growth and maturation. Covering the huge amounts of nutrients required as “building blocks” or “fuels” to ensure such growth has long been felt to be the only role of early-life nutrition. However, in the early 1990s, another stake emerged when British epidemiologist David Barker and colleagues suggested that early life may be a critical time window during which nutrition impacts human health throughout the entire lifespan. Overwhelming evidence from cohort and experimental studies has since accumulated to support that hypothesis. Nutrients received in early life (or the lack thereof) may “program” physiological functions in the future adult through impacts on tissue development, hormone secretion, epigenetic modifications of genes in key metabolic pathways, or through an impact on infant microbiota, thus “setting the thermostat” for the risk of chronic disease through the entire lifespan of the future adult.

The objective of this Special Issue on “Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome” is to showcase the latest research focusing on topics among this non-comprehensive list:

  • Protein intake in fetal and early postnatal life, catch-up growth, and risk of metabolic disease at mid- and long-term;
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids and infant neurodevelopment;
  • Oligosaccharides in breast milk and infant protection against viral and bacterial infections;
  • Nutrient deficiency/excess in breastmilk composition and infant health;
  • Infant nutrition, infant microbiota, and consequences on health.

This Issue will accept manuscripts describing longitudinal studies from birth to mid- and long-term health outcomes. Clinical studies and meta-analyses are welcome, as well as experimental studies.

Prof. Dominique Darmaun
Dr. Clair-Yves Boquien
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 semimonthly 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 2600 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

  • developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD)
  • intra-uterine growth restriction
  • maternal nutrition
  • nutrition and placental function
  • maternal fetal nutrient transfer
  • preterm birth
  • preterm nutritional management
  • breastfeeding
  • breast milk composition
  • infant nutrition
  • perinatal metabolism and metabolomics
  • neurodevelopment
  • gastrointestinal tract
  • gut microbiota

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Parental Reports on Early Autism Behaviors in Their Children with Fragile X Syndrome as a Function of Infant Feeding
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2888; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082888 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 747
Abstract
This study evaluates the prevalence of autistic behaviors in fragile X syndrome as a function of infant diet. Retrospective survey data from the Fragile X Syndrome Nutrition Study, which included data on infant feeding and caregiver-reported developmental milestones for 190 children with [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the prevalence of autistic behaviors in fragile X syndrome as a function of infant diet. Retrospective survey data from the Fragile X Syndrome Nutrition Study, which included data on infant feeding and caregiver-reported developmental milestones for 190 children with fragile X syndrome enrolled in the Fragile X Online Registry with Accessible Database (FORWARD), were analyzed. Exploratory, sex-specific associations were found linking the use of soy-based infant formula with worse autistic behaviors related to language in females and self-injurious behavior in males. These findings prompt prospective evaluation of the effects of soy-based infant formula on disease comorbidities in fragile X syndrome, a rare disorder for which newborn screening could be implemented if there was an intervention. Gastrointestinal problems were the most common reason cited for switching to soy-based infant formula. Thus, these findings also support the study of early gastrointestinal problems in fragile X syndrome, which may underly the development and severity of disease comorbidities. In conjunction with comorbidity data from the previous analyses of the Fragile X Syndrome Nutrition Study, the findings indicate that premutation fragile X mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
Article
Do Breastfeeding History and Diet Quality Predict Inhibitory Control at Preschool Age?
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2752; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082752 - 10 Aug 2021
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Inhibitory control is the ability to control impulsive behavior. It is associated with a range of mental and physical health outcomes, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and substance dependence. Breastfeeding and healthy dietary patterns have been associated with better executive functions, of which [...] Read more.
Inhibitory control is the ability to control impulsive behavior. It is associated with a range of mental and physical health outcomes, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and substance dependence. Breastfeeding and healthy dietary patterns have been associated with better executive functions, of which inhibitory control is part. Additionally, breastfeeding has been associated with healthy dietary patterns. Following our preregistration in the Open Science Framework, we investigated the associations between breastfeeding history and inhibitory control at preschool age, with habitual diet quality as a potential mediating factor. A total of 72 families from a longitudinal study participated at child age 3. Breastfeeding questionnaires were administered at 2, 6, and 12 weeks, and at 12 and 36 months. Six inhibitory control tasks were performed during a home visit, and questionnaires were filled in by both parents. Diet quality at age 3 was assessed via three unannounced 24-h recalls. Structural equation modelling was performed in R. This study did not provide evidence that breastfeeding history is associated with inhibitory control in 3-year-old children. Furthermore, diet quality at age 3 did not mediate the link between breastfeeding history and inhibitory control. Previous studies have investigated broader aspects of inhibitory control, such as executive functions, and used different methods to assess nutritional intake, which might explain our differential findings. Our findings contribute to the growing literature on associations between nutrition and behavior. Future replications with larger and more diverse preschool samples are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
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Article
Association of Prenatal Sugar Consumption with Newborn Brain Tissue Organization
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2435; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072435 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1119
Abstract
Animal studies have shown that exposure to excess sugar during the prenatal and postnatal periods may alter early brain structure in rat pups. However, evidence in humans is lacking. The aim of this study was to determine associations of maternal total and added [...] Read more.
Animal studies have shown that exposure to excess sugar during the prenatal and postnatal periods may alter early brain structure in rat pups. However, evidence in humans is lacking. The aim of this study was to determine associations of maternal total and added sugar intake in pregnancy with early brain tissue organization in infants. Adolescent mothers (n = 41) were recruited during pregnancy and completed 24 h dietary recalls during the second trimester. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed on infants using a 3.0 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner at 3 weeks. Maps of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were constructed. A multiple linear regression was used to examine voxel-wise associations across the brain. Adjusting for postmenstrual age, sex, birth weight, and total energy intake revealed that maternal total and added sugar consumption were associated inversely and diffusely with infant MD values, not FA values. Inverse associations were distributed throughout all of the cortical mantle, including the posterior periphery (Bs = −6.78 to −0.57, Ps < 0.001) and frontal lobe (Bs = −4.72 to −0.77, Ps ≤ 0.002). Our findings suggest that maternal total and added sugar intake during the second trimester are significantly associated with features of brain tissue organization in infants, the foundation for future functional outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
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Article
Complementary Foods and Milk-Based Formulas Provide Excess Protein but Suboptimal Key Micronutrients and Essential Fatty Acids in the Intakes of Infants and Toddlers from Urban Settings in Malaysia
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2354; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072354 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 937
Abstract
This study determined the intakes of complementary foods (CFs) and milk-based formulas (MFs) by a total of 119 subjects aged 6–23.9 months from urban day care centers. Dietary intakes were assessed using two-day weighed food records. Intake adequacy of energy and nutrients was [...] Read more.
This study determined the intakes of complementary foods (CFs) and milk-based formulas (MFs) by a total of 119 subjects aged 6–23.9 months from urban day care centers. Dietary intakes were assessed using two-day weighed food records. Intake adequacy of energy and nutrients was compared to the Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) for Malaysia. The most commonly consumed CFs were cereals (rice, noodles, bread). The subjects derived approximately half of their energy requirements (kcals) from CFs (57 ± 35%) and MFs (56 ± 31%). Protein intake was in excess of their RNI requirements, from both CFs (145 ± 72%) and MFs (133 ± 88%). Main sources of protein included meat, dairy products, and western fast food. Intake of CFs provided less than the RNI requirements for vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc. Neither CF nor MF intake met the Adequate Intake (AI) requirements for essential fatty acids. These findings indicate imbalances in the dietary intake of the subjects that may have adverse health implications, including increased risk of rapid weight gain from excess protein intake, and linear growth faltering and intellectual impairment from multiple micronutrient deficiencies. Interventions are needed to improve child feeding knowledge and practices among parents and child care providers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
Article
Consumption of Breast Milk Is Associated with Decreased Prevalence of Autism in Fragile X Syndrome
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1785; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061785 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Breastfeeding is associated with numerous health benefits, but early life nutrition has not been specifically studied in the neurodevelopmental disorder fragile X syndrome (FXS). Herein, I evaluate associations between the consumption of breast milk during infancy and the prevalence of autism, allergies, diabetes, [...] Read more.
Breastfeeding is associated with numerous health benefits, but early life nutrition has not been specifically studied in the neurodevelopmental disorder fragile X syndrome (FXS). Herein, I evaluate associations between the consumption of breast milk during infancy and the prevalence of autism, allergies, diabetes, gastrointestinal (GI) problems and seizures in FXS. The study design was a retrospective survey of families enrolled in the Fragile X Online Registry and Accessible Research Database (FORWARD). There was a 1.7-fold reduction in the prevalence of autism in FXS participants who were fed breast milk for 12 months or longer. There were strong negative correlations between increased time the infant was fed breast milk and the prevalence of autism and seizures and moderate negative correlations with the prevalence of GI problems and allergies. However, participants reporting GI problems or allergies commenced these comorbidities significantly earlier than those not fed breast milk. Parsing the data by sex indicated that males exclusively fed breast milk exhibited decreased prevalence of GI problems and allergies. These data suggest that long-term or exclusive use of breast milk is associated with reduced prevalence of key comorbidities in FXS, although breast milk is associated with the earlier development of GI problems and allergies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
Article
Human Milk from Previously COVID-19-Infected Mothers: The Effect of Pasteurization on Specific Antibodies and Neutralization Capacity
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051645 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
Background: Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many put their hopes in the rapid availability of effective immunizations. Human milk, containing antibodies against syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), may serve as means of protection through passive immunization. We aimed to determine the [...] Read more.
Background: Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many put their hopes in the rapid availability of effective immunizations. Human milk, containing antibodies against syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), may serve as means of protection through passive immunization. We aimed to determine the presence and pseudovirus neutralization capacity of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA in human milk of mothers who recovered from COVID-19, and the effect of pasteurization on these antibodies. Methods: This prospective case control study included lactating mothers, recovered from (suspected) COVID-19 and healthy controls. Human milk and serum samples were collected. To assess the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies we used multiple complementary assays, namely ELISA with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (specific for IgA and IgG), receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleocapsid (N) protein for IgG in serum, and bridging ELISA with the SARS-CoV-2 RBD and N protein for specific Ig (IgG, IgM and IgA in human milk and serum). To assess the effect of pasteurization, human milk was exposed to Holder (HoP) and High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP). Results: Human milk contained abundant SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 83% of the proven cases and in 67% of the suspected cases. Unpasteurized milk with and without these antibodies was found to be capable of neutralizing a pseudovirus of SARS-CoV-2 in (97% and 85% of the samples respectively). After pasteurization, total IgA antibody levels were affected by HoP, while SARS-CoV-2 specific antibody levels were affected by HPP. Pseudovirus neutralizing capacity of the human milk samples was only retained with the HPP approach. No correlation was observed between milk antibody levels and neutralization capacity. Conclusions: Human milk from recovered COVID-19-infected mothers contains SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies which maintained neutralization capacity after HPP. All together this may represent a safe and effective immunization strategy after HPP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
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Article
Serum and Muscle 1H NMR-Based Metabolomics Profiles Reveal Metabolic Changes Influenced by a Maternal Leucine-Rich Diet in Tumor-Bearing Adult Offspring Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2106; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072106 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
A maternal leucine-rich diet showed a positive effect on the gastrocnemius muscle of adult tumor-bearing offspring. To improve the understanding of the metabolic alterations of cancer cachexia and correlate this to preventive treatment, we evaluated the 1H NMR metabolic profiles from serum [...] Read more.
A maternal leucine-rich diet showed a positive effect on the gastrocnemius muscle of adult tumor-bearing offspring. To improve the understanding of the metabolic alterations of cancer cachexia and correlate this to preventive treatment, we evaluated the 1H NMR metabolic profiles from serum and gastrocnemius muscle samples of adult Wistar rats. These profiles were initially analyzed, and chemometrics tools were applied to investigate the following groups: C, control group; W, tumor-bearing group; L, the group without tumors and with a maternal leucine-rich diet; WL, the tumor-bearing group with a maternal leucine-rich diet. Tumor growth that led to a high protein breakdown in the W group was correlated to serum metabolites such as tyrosine, phenylalanine, histidine, glutamine, and tryptophan amino acids and uracil. Also, decreased muscle lactate, inversely to serum content, was found in the W group. Conversely, in the WL group, increased lactate in muscle and serum profiles was found, which could be correlated to the maternal diet effect. The muscle lipidomics and NAD+, NADP+, lysine, 4-aminohippurate, and glutamine metabolites pointed to modified energy metabolism and lower muscle mass loss in the WL group. In conclusion, this exploratory metabolomics analyses provided novel insights related to the Walker-256 tumor-bearing offspring metabolism modified by a maternal leucine-rich diet and the next steps in its investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
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Review

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Review
The Nutritional Status of Individuals Adopted Internationally as Children: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010245 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1731
Abstract
Since 1955, international adoption has been a way of finding homes for children who have been orphaned or abandoned. We aimed to describe the nutritional status of individuals adopted internationally and their long-term nutritional and health outcomes. We searched four databases for articles [...] Read more.
Since 1955, international adoption has been a way of finding homes for children who have been orphaned or abandoned. We aimed to describe the nutritional status of individuals adopted internationally and their long-term nutritional and health outcomes. We searched four databases for articles published from January 1995 to June 2020, which included information on anthropometric or micronutrient status of children adopted internationally (CAI). Mean Z-scores on arrival to adoptive country ranged from −2.04 to −0.31 for weight for age; −0.94 to 0.39 for weight for height; −0.7 to 0 for body mass index; −1.89 to −0.03 for height for age; −1.43 to 0.80 for head circumference for age. Older children, those adopted from institutionalized care or with underlying disability, were more likely to be malnourished. Though long-term data was scarce, mean Z-scores post-adoption ranged from −0.59 to 0.53 for weight for age; −0.31 to 1.04 for weight for height; 0.39 to 1.04 for body mass index; −1.09 to 0.58 for height for age; −0.06 to 1.23 for head circumference for age. We conclude that though CAI are at high risk of malnutrition at baseline, marked catch-up growth is possible, including for those older than two years of age on arrival. This has implications not only for CAI but for the wider population of malnourished children worldwide. Research on how to optimize catch-up growth is a priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
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Review
Relationship between Breastfeeding and Malocclusion: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3688; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123688 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the available literature about the influence of breastfeeding in primary and mixed dentition on different types of malocclusions. Methods: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines were used to [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the available literature about the influence of breastfeeding in primary and mixed dentition on different types of malocclusions. Methods: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines were used to perform the present review. The following electronic databases were searched: Pubmed, Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews (EBMR), Embase, Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science and Ovid. Results: A primary research found a total of 279 articles. Two more papers were also considered from the gray literature. Two hundred sixty-three articles were excluded as they were deemed irrelevant on the basis of: duplicates, title, abstract, methods and/or irrelevant contents. Eighteen papers were selected and included in the qualitative analysis. Conclusions: breastfeeding is a positive factor that seems to reduce the incidence of posterior crossbite, skeletal class II and distoclusion in primary and mixed dentition. A sort of positive relationship between months of breastfeeding and risk reduction seems to exist. More longitudinal research is needed to avoid bias in the results, with data collected prospectively on the months of exclusive breastfeeding, by means of specific questionnaires and successive clinical evaluation of the occlusal condition at the primary dentition, mixed dentition and permanent dentition stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Early Life and Health Outcome)
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