Impact of Micronutrient Status during Pregnancy on Early Nutrition Programming

Ann Nutr Metab. 2019;74(4):269-278. doi: 10.1159/000499698. Epub 2019 Apr 2.


Background: Nutrition status prior to conception and during pregnancy and infancy seems to have an influence on the disease risk in adulthood (early nutrition/developmental programming). We aimed to review the current knowledge on the role of micronutrients in early nutrition programming and its implications for healthcare.

Summary of findings: Globally and even in high-income countries where a balanced diet is generally accessible, an inadequate maternal micronutrient status is common. This may induce health problems in the mother and foetus/newborn both immediately and in later life. Pregnant women and those who may become pregnant should aim to achieve a satisfactory micronutrient status from a well-balanced diet, and where necessary from additional supplements. Key Messages: We emphasise the need for a call to action for healthcare providers and policymakers to better educate women of child-bearing age regarding the short- and long-term benefits of an appropriate micronutrient status. The role of micronutrient status in early nutrition programming needs to be emphasized more to address the still limited awareness of the potential long-term health repercussions of suboptimal micronutrient supply during pregnancy.

Keywords: Consensus report; Early nutrition programming; Micronutrients; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Prenatal Care*


  • Micronutrients