Food and Behaviour Research

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The Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diet during Pregnancy on the Health of Mothers and Offspring

Sebastiani G, Herranz Barbero A, Borrás-Novell C, Alsina Casanova M, Aldecoa-Bilbao V, Andreu-Fernández V, Pascual Tutusaus M, Ferrero Martínez S, Gómez Roig MD, García-Algar O (2019) Nutrients.  2019 Mar 6;11(3).  pii: E557. doi: 10.3390/nu11030557. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here

Abstract:

Vegetarian and vegan diets have increased worldwide in the last decades, according to the knowledge that they might prevent coronary heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Although plant-based diets are at risk of nutritional deficiencies such as proteins, iron, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, omega-3, and vitamin B12, the available evidence shows that well planned vegetarian and vegan diets may be considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, but they require a strong awareness for a balanced intake of key nutrients. A review of the scientific literature in this field was performed, focusing specifically on observational studies in humans, in order to investigate protective effects elicited by maternal diets enriched in plant-derived foods and possible unfavorable outcomes related to micronutrients deficiencies and their impact on fetal development.

A design of pregestational nutrition intervention is required in order to avoid maternal undernutrition and consequent impaired fetal growth.

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

This research must be judged in the context of other studies in this area. Our website has comprehensive coverage of reearch over the last two decades - see here for relevant papers.

See here for corresponding news articles on the topic of vegan diets.