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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are common dietary exposures that cross the human placenta and are classified as a probable human carcinogen. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential impact of exposure to PAH-containing meat consumed during pregnancy on birth outcomes.
Prospective birth cohort study. Only non-smoking women with singleton pregnancies, who were free from chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension, were included in the study. Maternal consumption of PAH-rich meat was estimated through FFQ. Multiple linear regression was used to assess factors related to higher intake and the association between dietary PAH and birth outcomes.
Republic of Korea, 2006–2011.
Pregnant women (n 778) at 12–28 weeks of gestation enrolled in the Mothers and Children’s Environmental Health (MOCEH) study.
The multivariable regression model showed a significant reduction in birth weight associated with higher consumption level of foods rich in PAH, such as grilled or roasted meat, during pregnancy (β=−17·48 g, P<0·05 for every 1 point higher in meat score). Further adjusting for biomarkers of airborne PAH did not alter this association. There was no evidence that higher consumption level of PAH-rich meat shortens the duration of gestation (P=0·561). Regression models performed for birth length and head circumference produced negative effects that were not statistically significant.
Consumption of higher levels of barbecued, fried, roasted and smoked meats during pregnancy was associated with reduced birth weight. Dietary risk of PAH exposure in Korean women is of concern.
Pb is released from bone stores during pregnancy, which constitutes a period of increased bone resorption. A high Na intake has been found to be negatively associated with Ca and adversely associated with bone metabolism. It is possible that a high Na intake during pregnancy increases the blood Pb concentration; however, no previous study has reported on the relationship between Na intake and blood Pb concentration. We thus have investigated this relationship between Na intake and blood Pb concentrations, and examined whether this relationship differs with Ca intake in pregnant Korean women. Blood Pb concentrations were analysed in 1090 pregnant women at mid-pregnancy. Dietary intakes during mid-pregnancy were estimated by a 24 h recall method covering the use of dietary supplements. Blood Pb concentrations in whole-blood samples were analysed using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Multiple regression analysis performed after adjustment for covariates revealed that maternal Na intake was positively associated with blood Pb concentration during pregnancy, but only when Ca intake was below the estimated average requirement for pregnant Korean women (P= 0·001). The findings of the present study suggest that blood Pb concentration during pregnancy could be minimised by dietary recommendations that include decreased Na and increased Ca intakes.
Zn is an essential element for human growth. The nutritional adequacy of dietary Zn depends not only on the total Zn intake, but also on the type of food source (i.e. of plant or animal origin). We investigated the association between maternal dietary Zn intake from animal and plant food sources and fetal growth. A total of 918 pregnant women at 12–28 weeks of gestation were selected from the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health study in Korea. Dietary intakes in mid-pregnancy were estimated by a 24 h recall method, and subsequent birth weight and height were obtained from medical records. Multiple regression analysis showed that maternal Zn intake from animal food sources and their proportions relative to total Zn intake were positively associated with birth weight (P = 0·034 and 0·045, respectively) and height (P = 0·020 and 0·032, respectively). Conversely, the percentage of Zn intake from plant food sources relative to total Zn intake was negatively associated with birth height (P = 0·026) after adjustment for covariates that may affect fetal growth. The molar ratio of phytate:Zn was negatively associated with birth weight (P = 0·037). In conclusion, we found that the absolute amounts of Zn from different food sources (e.g. animal or plant) and their proportions relative to total Zn intake were significantly associated with birth weight and height. A sufficient amount of Zn intake from animal food sources of a relatively higher Zn bioavailability is thus encouraged for women during pregnancy.
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