IMR Press / FBE / Volume 3 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/E259

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Obesity in pregnancy: problems and potential solutions
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1 Faculty of Nutrition and Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555
3 State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China 100193
Academic Editor:Guoyao Wu
Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2011, 3(2), 442–452; https://doi.org/10.2741/E259
Published: 1 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino acids in nutrition, health, and disease)
Abstract

Recent years have witnessed an increase in the prevalence of maternal obesity during pregnancy in the United States and worldwide. Obese women have increased risks for gestational problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, and pre-eclampsia. Further, gestational obesity can adversely impact fetal growth and result in macrosomia, congenital abnormalities, and even fetal death. Measures must be taken to reduce maternal adiposity, as even a modest weight loss during pregnancy is beneficial for the health of mothers and fetus. Calorie restriction and moderate exercise are proven safe methods of stopping weight gain and/or inducing white-fat loss in these subjects. Additionally, therapeutic drugs that activate the AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway may be effective in ameliorating pathological conditions in obese patients. Finally, dietary supplementation with L-arginine or its effective precursor (L-citrulline) may be beneficial for managing overweight or obese gestating women by reducing white-fat accretion. Because of ethical concerns over human studies, animal models (e.g., sheep, pigs, baboons, rats, and mice) are warranted to test novel hypotheses with enormous biological significance and clinical applications.

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