Peer-Reviewed Scientific Articles​

The role of livestock products for nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life


Journal: Animal Frontiers

Publication Date: 9/2019

Summary: Meat, milk, and eggs are nutrient-rich products that could efficiently boost nutrient-poor diets either as part of the normal diet or if access is increased through interventions. The scientific evidence for the role of livestock products in improving nutrition is limited, especially during the first 1,000 d of life in low- and middle-income countries. Beyond producing food, the livestock sector has additional positive and negative impacts on human health, the environment, societies, and economies that must be understood and managed.

Key Takeaways

Consumption of animal foods such as meat, milk, and eggs provide high quality nutrition with large amounts of bioavailable micronutrients needed for adequate linear growth and cognitive development. Micronutrients highly available include but are not limited to Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, and Calcium.

Meat, Milk, and Eggs- Full Of Nutrients Needed To Grow Tall, Strong, and Smart

The impact of complementary feeding foods of animal origin on growth and the risk of overweight in infants


Journal: Animal Frontiers

Publication Date: 9/2019

Summary: Evidence-based consensus holds that the first year of life is critical in obesity programming and unfavorable infant growth patterns, namely, excessive weight gain in relation to length gain or increased weight-for-length Z score, is strongly associated with obesity in young children and adolescents. Given the current obesity rates in U.S. children, identifying modifiable risk factors underpinning excessive weight and adiposity gain early in life are urgently needed. Although extensive research has been done on infant formula consumption and risk of overweight, a significant knowledge gap exists in the effects of complementary feeding on growth and risk of overweight during late infancy, especially regarding protein-rich foods. This review will present current literature on the impact of complementary foods of animal origin on growth trajectory and the risk of overweight in infants and discuss the potential mechanisms linking protein-rich complementary foods to infant growth and future research recommendations.

Key Takeaways

The first year of life is a crucial developmental period, and the foods consumed within this time can result in increased risk of obesity. Infants fed with formula rather than breast milk are more likely to be overweight or obese, and more research is needed to determine the mechanism for this.

Infant Formula Linked With Obesity

Vitamin D deficiency in mothers, neonates and children


Journal: The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Publication Date: 01/2018

Summary: Vitamin D deficiency mainly occurs if strict vegetarian diet is followed as mostly the source of vitamin D is animal based. Low vitamin D levels results in increased possibility of gestational diabetes among pregnant women, low birth weight and pre-eclampsia in infants, and mothers may suffer bone impairment, osteoporosis, hypocalcaemia, and hypertension. Vitamin D deficiency is directly linked with severe complication in mothers and neonates, causing rickets, poor fetal growth and infantile eczema in neonates.

Key Takeaways

Strict vegan diets can lead to low Vitamin D, which can result in gestational diabetes, low birth weight, and high blood pressure during pregnancy. Mothers can also experience low calcium and osteoporosis. Newborns may also experience rickets, poor growth, and eczema due to Vitamin D deficiency.

Vegan Diets, Vitamin D, and Problems During Pregnancy and Birth

Meat consumption is associated with less stunting among toddlers in four diverse low-income settings


Journal: Food and Nutritional Bulletin

Publication Date: 09/2011

Summary: Over 3100 infants and toddlers from low income areas were studied. Increased meat consumption was associated with a lower risk of stunting.

Key Takeaways

Increased meat consumption in low income areas leads to less stunting of child growth

Meat Consumption During Childhood is Key to Prevent Stunting of Growth

A maternal vegetarian diet in pregnancy is associated with hypospadias. The ALSPAC Study Team. Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood


Journal: BJUI International

Publication Date: 08/2008

Summary: As vegetarians have a greater exposure to phytoestrogens than do omnivores, these results support the possibility that phytoestrogens have a deleterious effect on the developing male reproductive system.

Key Takeaways

Mothers who consume vegetarian diets high in phytoestrogens may be associated with poor development of their baby boy's penis. This abnormal development can lead to hypospadias.

Plant Based Diets Can Do What To Your Penis?

Complementary Feeding: A Commentary by the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition


Journal: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

Publication Date: 01/2008

Summary: Infants and young children receiving a vegetarian diet should receive a sufficient amount of breast milk or formula and dairy products. Infants and young children should not be fed a vegan diet.

Key Takeaways

Breastfeeding infants until 6 months is optimal. Infants should receive foods that contain bioavailable iron (meat) when parents begin introducing solid foods. Infants should also receive adequate milk in the form of breast milk, cows milk, or formula if being fed a vegetarian diet, and they should NOT be fed a vegan diet due to the likely formation of nutritional deficiencies and growth retardation.

Infants Should NOT be Fed a Vegan Diet

Severe nutritional vitamin deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan mother


Journal: European Journal of Pediatrics

Publication Date: 04/2005

Summary: Case report of severe vitamin deficiency and failure to thrive in a breast fed infant of a vegan mother

Key Takeaways

N of 1 study showing an infant with vitamin deficiencies due to lack of nutrients in vegan mother's breast milk.

Vegan Diet Does Not Supply Children With Adequate Nutrition for Proper Development

The influence of maternal vegetarian diet on essential fatty acid status of the newborn.


Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 05/1994

Summary: This study demonstrates that vegetarians give birth to infants with less DHA in their plasma and cord artery phospholipids but this did not appear to be independently related to the outcome of pregnancy.

Key Takeaways

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are deficient in children born to vegetarian mothers.

Vegetarians Give Birth To Omega-3 Deficient Children

Growth and development of British vegan children


Journal: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 09/1988

Summary: The growth and development of children born of vegan mothers and reared on a vegan diet has been studied longitudinally: All of the children were breast-fed for the first 6 mo of life and in most cases well into the second year of life. The majority of children grew and developed normally but they did tend to be smaller in stature and lighter in weight than standards for the general population.

Key Takeaways

Children raised on vegan diets may require longer breast feeding times, and tend to be shorter and lighter than the general population.

Children Raised on Vegan Diets Do Not Reach Their Developmental Potential

Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan-diet mother


Journal: Clinical Pediatrics

Publication Date: 04/1986

Summary: Case report of breast fed infant of vegetarian mother that developed severe vitamin B12 deficiency

Key Takeaways

Vegetarian diets are low in vitamin B12, and breast feeding mothers who are depleted in this nutrient may cause deficiencies of B12 in their infants.

Infantile B12 Deficiency May Occur If Mother Is On Vegetarian Diet

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