Maternal Iron Restriction

Women, especially pregnant women, in today's society are often diagnosed as being anemic or iron deficient. A rodent model of maternal iron restriction has been developed to determine if metabolic health consequences are observed in the offspring of iron-deficient women. Similar to other restricted maternal diets, iron restriction during pregnancy in rats can lead to disturbances within the events of early life metabolic programing and can induce permanent adaptations of the offspring's physiological and metabolic processes.

Although the mechanisms remain unclear, growth restriction of the offspring of rats fed an iron-deficient diet throughout gestation has been consistently reported. Elevated blood pressure appears to occur in response to maternal iron restriction and persists throughout the life of the offspring. Changes in cardiac size are evident prior to the initiation of hypertension in the offspring of iron-restricted rat dams. Elevated levels of cardiac hypertrophy may therefore contribute to the programed rise in blood pressure documented in these offspring. Renal development is also adversely altered in the offspring of iron-restricted dams. Maternal iron restriction during pregnancy can induce reductions in nephron and glomerular number in the adult rodent offspring. Significant inverse relationships between glomerular number and systolic blood pressure exist in the offspring of iron-restricted dams suggesting that abnormal renal development may also be involved in inducing the hypertensive state in these offspring. The principal mechanisms behind the association of maternal iron restriction during pregnancy with the altered cardiac and renal growth in the offspring and the subsequent induction of permanently elevated blood pressure still need to be further investigated.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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