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Studies in older adults and animals have suggested contrasting relations between bone health and different vitamin A compounds. To our knowledge, the associations between maternal vitamin A status and offspring bone development have not previously been elucidated.We examined the associations between maternal serum retinol and β-carotene concentrations during late pregnancy and offspring bone mineralization assessed at birth with the use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.In the Southampton Women's Survey mother-offspring birth cohort, maternal health, lifestyle, and diet were assessed prepregnancy and at 11 and 34 wk of gestation. In late pregnancy, maternal serum retinol and β-carotene concentrations were measured. Offspring total body bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and bone area (BA) were measured within 2 wk after birth.In total, 520 and 446 mother-offspring pairs had measurements of maternal serum retinol and β-carotene, respectively. Higher maternal serum retinol in late pregnancy was associated with lower offspring total body BMC (β = -0.10 SD/SD; 95% CI: -0.19, -0.02; P = 0.020) and BA (β = -0.12 SD/SD; 95% CI: -0.20, -0.03; P = 0.009) but not BMD. Conversely, higher maternal serum β-carotene concentrations in late pregnancy were associated with greater total body BMC (β = 0.12 SD/SD; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.21; P = 0.016) and BA (β = 0.12 SD/SD; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.22; P = 0.010) but not BMD.Maternal serum retinol and β-carotene concentrations had differing associations with offspring bone size and growth at birth: retinol was negatively associated with these measurements, whereas β-carotene was positively associated. These findings highlight the need for further investigation of the effects of maternal retinol and carotenoid status on offspring bone development.

Original publication

DOI

10.3945/ajcn.116.130146

Type

Journal article

Journal

The American journal of clinical nutrition

Publication Date

10/2016

Volume

104

Pages

1183 - 1188

Addresses

Department of Clinical Research, Odense Patient Data Explorative Network, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Research Unit for Dietary Studies, Parker Institute and the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit.

Keywords

Bone and Bones, Humans, beta Carotene, Vitamin A, Absorptiometry, Photon, Calcification, Physiologic, Nutritional Status, Fetal Development, Gestational Age, Bone Development, Pregnancy, Bone Density, Adult, Infant, Newborn, Female, Male, Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, United Kingdom