Maternal amino acid supplementation for intrauterine growth restriction

Laura D. Brown, Alice S. Green, Sean W. Limesand, Paul J. Rozance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Maternal dietary protein supplementation to improve fetal growth has been considered as an option to prevent or treat intrauterine growth restriction. However, in contrast to balanced dietary supplementation, adverse perinatal outcomes in pregnant women who received high amounts of dietary protein supplementation have been observed. The responsible mechanisms for these adverse outcomes are unknown. This review will discuss relevant human and animal data to provide the background necessary for the development of explanatory hypotheses and ultimately for the development therapeutic interventions during pregnancy to improve fetal growth. Relevant aspects of fetal amino acid metabolism during normal pregnancy and those pregnancies affected by IUGR will be discussed. In addition, data from animal experiments which have attempted to determine mechanisms to explain the adverse responses identified in the human trials will be presented. Finally, we will suggest new avenues for investigation into how amino acid supplementation might be used safely to treat and/or prevent IUGR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-444
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Scholar
Volume3 S
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Amino acids
  • Arginine
  • Dietary supplementation
  • Insulin
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Leucine
  • Metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein
  • Taurine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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