Maternal micronutrient intake, programming and metabolic outcomes in offspring

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A nutrient-rich, energy appropriate diet during pregnancy helps to ensure a woman's own nutritional requirements are met and facilitates healthy development of her fetus. A growing body of evidence, primarily from animal and human epidemiological studies, suggests that maternal nutritional intake during pregnancy may program future energy and nutrient metabolism and the risk of chronic disease in the offspring during childhood, early adulthood and beyond. Much of this discussion to date has focused on the impact of under- or over-nutrition broadly in the context of total calories and diet pattern (e.g. Western Diet versus a more healthful diet) rather than specific micronutrient intake. The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss the potential impact of current micronutrient intakes of Canadian women on epigenetic programming of their offspring. After a brief introduction of the concepts epigenetic programming, the micronutrient status of Canadian women of reproductive age will be reviewed with emphasis on vitamin D and some of the B-vitamins involved in methylation-mediated epigenetic programming (e.g. folate, vitamin B12, choline, and vitamin B6). This will be followed by a brief discussion of the animal and human data suggesting sub-optimal and excessive intakes of these nutrients can impact global and gene-specific methylation, body weight, glucose metabolism and long-term health outcomes.

Dr. Debbie O'Connor, PhD, RD
University of Toronto

Dr. O'Connor completed her undergraduate training in nutrition at the University of Guelph and her M.Sc. and PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois. She completed her clinical training at Kingston General Hospital. Prior to arriving in Toronto in 2000, Debbie was an Associate Professor in the Division of Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph and then at Ohio State University and led the Premature Infant Nutrition group at Abbott Laboratories in Ohio where she developed one of the first human milk nutrient fortifiers for preterm infants. Debbie served as the Director of Clinical Dietetics at The Hospital for Sick Children which includes the Breastfeeding Program from 2000 to 2012 and then the Associate Chief of Academic and Professional Practice until 2013. She currently is a full professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto and a Senior Associate Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children. Debbie leads Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)-funded research programs which evaluate strategies to optimize the use of human milk for vulnerable infants, evaluation of the folate status of Canadians and elucidation of the mechanisms and impact of folate absorption across the colon. Dr. O'Connor serves as a co-chair of the Advisory Committee for the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Donor Milk Bank and is a councilor for the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation. She currently serves on Health Canada's Pediatric Advisory Committee and the US-Canada Governments Joint Dietary Reference Intake Working Group on Chronic Disease Endpoints. Finally she is co-chairing the Canadian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee to develop Nutrition Guidelines for Women.

***Original Source: “2016 CNS Thematic Conference", Saturday, January 16, 2016

Length: 31:13

Type: Video

Last Updated: March 17, 2016

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