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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Newborns Delivered To Obese Mothers May Have Lower Levels Of Iron

More early nutritional child abuse.
A growing number of studies imply that children born to obese mothers face health problems stemming from the womb.

New research from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and The Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center suggests that low iron status is among these health problems, according to an analysis of maternal hepcidin, a hormone that is key in keeping iron levels balanced.

The study enrolled 15 obese pregnant women with body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 and 15 healthy weight pregnant women with BMIs between 20 and 25 as a control group. Maternal blood draws took place during the second trimester of pregnancy and newborn iron status was measured in cord blood.

The researchers found that being born to an obese mother with elevated hepcidin levels was associated with lower iron status at birth. Obese adults are known to produce higher levels of hepcidin compared to healthy weight adults and the researchers suggest that overproduction of the hormone interferes with the transfer of iron from mother to infant. The results were recently published online by the Journal of Perinatology.
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