Maternal nutrition and neurodevelopment: A scoping review

María Camila Cortés-Albornoz, Danna Paola García-Guáqueta, Alberto Velez-Van-meerbeke, Claudia Talero-Gutiérrez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


In this scoping review, we examined the association between maternal nutrition during pregnancy and neurodevelopment in offspring. We searched the Pubmed and ScienceDirect databases for articles published from 2000 to 2020 on inadequate intake of vitamins (B12, folate, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K), micronutrients (cooper, iron, creatine, choline, zinc, iodine), macronutrients (fatty acids, proteins), high fat diets, ketogenic diets, hypercaloric diets, and maternal undernutrition. Some older relevant articles were included. The search produced a total of 3590 articles, and 84 studies were included in the qualitative synthesis. Data were extracted and analyzed using charts and the frequency of terms used. We concluded that inadequate nutrient intake during pregnancy was associated with brain defects (diminished cerebral volume, spina bifida, alteration of hypothalamic and hippocampal pathways), an increased risk of abnormal behavior, neuropsychiatric disorders (ASD, ADHD, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression), altered cognition, visual impairment, and motor deficits. Future studies should establish and quantify the benefits of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on neurodevelopment and recommend adequate supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3530
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 8 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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