Study Says Poor Nutrition During Pregnancy May Advance Menopause

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It has been emphasised time and again that pregnant women must take extra care of their nutrition intake as it may affect the health of foetus. Previous studies have also shown that poor nutrition during pregnancy may raise risk of diabetes and heart diseases among expecting mothers. If the latest study is to be believed, inadequate nutrition during foetal development could also lead to early menopause at age younger than 45. This new study was published in the journal Menopause. The study also revealed that prenatal malnutrition was associated with a higher risk of premature ovarian failure. Menopause is a phase in a woman's life that marks the end of her reproductive years. This happens when ovaries age and stop producing reproductive hormones.

The researchers also said that early menopause could be associated with increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and memory changes and changes in vaginal and sexual health.

"The findings showed that food deprivation during early foetal life affects how long the future ovaries function," said Joann Pinkerton, executive director from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Although several studies have investigated the association between malnutrition exposure in early life and risk of various metabolic diseases in adulthood, the association with reproductive ageing was not evaluated.

For the study, the researchers examined 2,900 Chinese women and specifically sought to address the effect of early life exposure to malnutrition on age at menopause. The development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis during the foetal stage plays a critical role in adulthood reproductive health, the researchers said. To avoid early menopause, it is critical for women to have a healthy diet.

Pregnancy Diet | 5 Healthy Eating Tips Pregnant Women Must Ensure

1. Eating a balanced diet that's rich in vitamins and minerals is a must; make sure it is rich in fibre to avoid constipation, suggests Dr. Mohita Goyal, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospital, Pune. Include more fibre-rich foods like like whole cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.

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2. Folate, or folic acid, is a B-group vitamin, essential for the healthy development of the foetus. Make sure you have ample of folate in the early stage of pregnancy.

3. Make sure you have multiple small meals through regular intervals of the day to enable steady inflow of nutrients.

4. It is crucial to drink plenty of water to eliminate toxins and prevent yourself from urinary tract infections.

5. It is best to avoid high mercury fish, under cooked meat and raw eggs.

So, all the women out there, follow these heathy eating tips to maintain a healthy life ahead.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

(With inputs IANS)

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