Nutritional influences on brain development

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence from preclinical and human studies that nutrition in the late foetal and early neonatal period has a significant impact on neurodevelopment across the lifespan. Certain nutrients have particularly large effects in this time period, and their deficits cause greater long-term risk. The mechanisms by which nutrients influence early brain growth and the sensitive periods for when certain nutrients should be provided are being elucidated. Assessments of nutritional status that index brain growth and predict long-term development are important to assess the efficacy of early life nutritional therapies. Conclusion: Optimizing nutrition during foetal and early postnatal life is a golden opportunity to impact neurodevelopment and brain function across the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1310-1321
Number of pages12
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded in part by grants to MKG (NIH: HD-29421), SER (March of Dimes: 12-FY13-295) and SEC (NIH: HD-074262) The authors are grateful to Phu Tran, PhD for generating Figure.

Publisher Copyright:
©2018 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Brain
  • Development
  • Foetus
  • Neonate
  • Nutrition


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