Essential Nutrients for Pregnancy

By Heartspring Staff

Nutrient defiencies known to affect the development of newborn babies:

Omega-3 fatty acids in infant development: visual, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes

"Diets low in omega-3 fatty acids result in lowered DHA levels in cerebral cortex and retina that is associated with abnormalities in retinal function and slower development of visual acuity." - Videocast lecture by Martha Neuringer, Oregon Health Sciences University

Can cognitive deterioration associated with Down syndrome be reduced?

Medical Hypotheses. 2005;64(3):524-32.
Thiel R, Fowkes SW. Center for Natural Health Research, Down Syndrome-Epilepsy Foundation, 1248 E. Grand Avenue, Suite A, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, USA.

Individuals with Down syndrome have signs of possible brain damage prior to birth. In addition to slowed and reduced mental development, they are much more likely to have cognitive deterioration and develop dementia at an earlier age than individuals without Down syndrome. Some of the cognitive impairments are likely due to post-natal hydrogen peroxide-mediated oxidative stress caused by overexpression of the superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) gene, which is located on the triplicated 21st chromosome and known to be 50% overexpressed. However, some of this disability may also be due to early accumulation of advanced protein glycation end-products, which may play an adverse role in prenatal and postnatal brain development.

This paper suggests that essential nutrients such as folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc, as well as alpha-lipoic acid and carnosine may possibly be partially preventive. Acetyl-l-carnitine, aminoguanidine, cysteine, and N-acetylcysteine are also discussed, but have possible safety concerns for this population. This paper hypothesizes that nutritional factors begun prenatally, in early infancy, or later may prevent or delay the onset of dementia in the Down syndrome population.

Further examination of these data may provide insights into nutritional, metabolic and pharmacological treatments for dementias of many kinds. As the Down syndrome population may be the largest identifiable group at increased risk for developing dementia, clinical research to verify the possible validity of the prophylactic use of anti-glycation nutrients should be performed. Such research might also help those with glycation complications associated with diabetes or Alzheimer's.




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Heartspring Staff are assistants of board reviewed doctors that are medical editors, authors, and reviewers, providing oversight for Heartspring.net. This article is currently undergoing doctor reveiw.




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