Nutrient-mediated teratogenesis and fuel-mediated teratogenesis: two pathways of intrauterine programming of diabetes

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 Mar;104 Suppl 1:S27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2008.11.034. Epub 2009 Jan 18.


The epidemic of diabetes is spreading quickly to the poor and the deprived. Nutrition during fetal life influences the future risk for diabetes; and both under- and overnutrition contribute and coexist in rapid-transition countries. Nutrient imbalance seems particularly important; for example, low maternal vitamin B(12) status coupled with high folate predicted higher adiposity and insulin resistance in Indian children, suggesting a role for 1-C (methyl) group donors in fetal programming. Maternal hyperglycemia worsens the situation. Improving the early-life environment may be more cost-effective for preventing diabetes than controlling lifestyle factors alone in later life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Developing Countries
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • India / epidemiology
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications*
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors