from the desire for a child to the postpartum period
Reproduction is the most important mechanism within a species, since it allows its survival by perpetuating the species. In humans it allows the transmission of knowledge and knowledge.
Giving birth to a child is often compared to a long marathon. And like a marathon, a pregnancy is prepared well before its start in order to start this adventure in the best conditions.
This is why from the moment you want to become pregnant, you want to take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Indeed epigenetic phenomena (modification of DNA) and the deficit or excess in certain nutrients can compromise procreation, the good progress of pregnancy and the health of mother and baby.
What are the important markers to know and have in good quantity to cross the finish line and enjoy the post-race in the best conditions?
Co-enzyme Q10 and selenium : once is not customary starting to interest us in men. Infertility situations are often due to nutritional or micronutrient deficits making fertilization impossible. Among these reasons is a lack of motility in spermatozoa due to a deficiency of co-enzymes Q10 and selenium for humans.
Vitamins B9, B12, zinc and homocysteine participate in the establishment of methylation capital. In fact, the formation of tissues and organs is dependent on genetic expression which is itself dependent on food or metabolic factors.
We now know that unbalanced nutrition, metabolic disorders, insufficient physical activity of the mother lead to alterations in the genetic programming of their child which can constitute a favorable ground for the absence of closure of the neural tube, to obesity and type II diabetes
For example, vitamin B9 (or folic acid) is associated with the closure of the neural tube (the spinal cord). The mean folate status should be 400 µg / L at least 2 months before pregnancy and should be maintained throughout pregnancy.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that comes from the diet. Its excess due to vitamin B deficiency or excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a risk of repeated miscarriages during the 1st or 2nd trimester, of congenital heart defect (according to studies, the risk of having a child with a congenital heart defect is multiplied by a factor of 3 to 5 if the mother's homocysteinemia exceeds 12.5 to 14 µmol / L), preeclampsia.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that acts like a hormone. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired growth and skeletal disorders in children and an increased risk of pre-eclampsia in mothers.
Zinc and selenium are micronutrients with multiple effects.
Zinc deficiency in the first few weeks can lead to spontaneous abortion and to birth defects, growth disturbances and problems with childbirth.
A selenium deficiency is a risk factor for miscarriages, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, low birth weight and gestational diabetes.
The regulation of iron and iodine status during pregnancy follows specific laws because their needs vary during the trimesters and their faculty of assimilation too.
An iron deficiency is a risk increased by a factor of 2.5 to 3 of complicated pregnancy: premature delivery, low birth weight, perinatal mortality.
On the other hand, there are also risks of an excess of iron by increasing oxidative stress which can result in an increased risk of diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Iodine and thyroid hormones have effects on neuronal migration and psychomotor development in children.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids and more particularly DHA play an important role in neuronal functionality and therefore in brain development.
Their need becomes very important from the 26th week. DHA is stored in the fatty tissue of the fetus to be redistributed in the first months after birth for the development of its brain and retina. This status should therefore be maintained by breastfeeding (mother's nutrition) or by breast milk enriched with DHA.
A deficiency in polyunsaturated fatty acids would also be involved in the onset of postpartum depression. It takes 4 months to restore its fatty acid stock, hence the importance of highlighting possible deficiencies very early on.
Amino acids play an important role during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy.
For example, arginine is recognized as a conditionally essential amino acid, especially for embryonic growth, fetal survival, and increases the transfer of nutrients from mother to fetus.
Likewise, high levels of amino acids are a risk factor for the onset of gestational diabetes.
Dietary control of maternal energy balance, protein intake, as well as other macro and micronutrients are considered important not only for normal pregnancies, but also for vegetarians or vegans. The quantification of free amino acids in plasma, apart from routine tests, could prove useful to optimize the conditions for a good progress of pregnancy.