Figure 4 The relative concentration of nutrients in the maternal and fetal circulations. The concentration differences for each nutrient class are represented by the area of the circle in the fetal circulation relative to the maternal circulation. Apart from glucose the relative concentrations of individual nutrients within the nutrient groups are shown as segments of the circle. For triglyceride the fractions are saturated (SFA) monounsaturated (MUFA), essential (EFA), and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA). For vitamin E the fractions are «-tocopherol (a-toc), 7-tocopherol (7-toc), and ¿-tocopherol (<5-toc). For vitamin A the abbreviated fractions are ^-carotene (,3-car) and a-carotene (a-car). (Reproduced with permission from: Berghaus TM, Demmelmair H, and Koletzko B (1998) Fatty acid composition of lipid classes in maternal and cord plasma at birth. European Journal of Pediatrics 157: 763-768; Kiely M, Cogan PF, Kearney PJ and Morrissey PA (1999) Concentrations of tocopherols and carotenoids in maternal and cord blood plasma. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53: 711-715; Cetin I., Marconi AM, Bozzetti P, Sereni LP, Corbetta C, Pardi G, and Battaglia FC (1988) Umbilical amino acid concentrations in appropriate and small for gestational age infants: a biochemical difference present in utero. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 158: 120-126; Bozzetti P, Ferrari MM, Marconi AM, Ferrazzi E, Pardi G, Makowski EL, and Battaglia FC (1988) The relationship of maternal and fetal glucose concentrations in the human from midgestation until term. Metabolism 37: 358-363.)

maternal side at term. The fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, and D) are also present in the fetal circulation in lower concentrations than in the maternal circulation. These materno-fetal concentration differences for the macronutrients develop gradually throughout gestation.

It is less easy to generalize about the trans-placental gradient for minerals as some are at a

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