Fetal nutrition: A review

Irene Cetin, Gioia Alvino, Tatjana Radaelli, Giorgio Pardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of fetal nutrient supply has greatly increased in the last decade due to the availability of fetal blood samples obtained under relatively steady-state conditions. These studies, together with studies utilizing stable isotope methodologies, have clarified some aspects of the supply of the major nutrients for the fetus such as glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. At the same time, the relevance of intrauterine growth has been recognized not only for the well-being of the neonate and child, but also for later health in adulthood. The major determinants of fetal nutrient availability are maternal nutrition and metabolism together with placental function and metabolism. The regulation of the rate of intrauterine growth is the result of complex interactions between genetic inheritance, endocrine environment and availability of nutrients to the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics, Supplement
Issue number449
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Fatty acids
  • Fetus
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition
  • Placental transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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