Thursday 25 February 2021 from 12:00 at 16:30

Pediatric Nutrition - From the womb to 1000 days!

Chairs: Stephanie Atkinson PhD, McMaster University and Geneviève Mailhot PhD, Université de Montréal

The first 1000 days of life span the period from conception to 24 months of age and represent a “critical window of opportunity” for healthy nutrition and development as well as protection for later onset of non-communicable diseases (Darling JC, et al. Arch Dis Child 2020). Maternal nutrition during pregnancy and/or early infant nutrition are key factors in the “programming” of fetal and infant growth and development, including gene expression and cell differentiation that influence development of non-communicable diseases. As examples of these concepts, this session will explore the role of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in early infant development and the importance of vitamin D status in pregnancy and early childhood in relation to clinical outcomes. A panel will discuss the existing evidence for regulations pertaining to HMOs in infant feeding and guidelines regarding vitamin D, and the potential implications of updating these regulations. 

Conference objectives:

  • Provide an overview of HMOs, focusing on their role as prebiotic substrates for the infant microbiome and their association with chronic diseases. The potential clinical role of HMOs in preventing intestinal diseases and childhood asthma will be highlighted.
  • Explore the critical role of Vitamin D in the first 1000 days because of its function in placental development and “fetal/infant programming” of bone and whether Canadian mothers and infants are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
  • Examine the relationship between vitamin D status and immune, anti-inflammation and respiratory functions in young children in particular its role in prevention of respiratory infections and asthma.
  • The panel discussions will provide a perspective on:
    • Session 2: Whether evidence supports the addition of HMOs to infant formula and foods, and the associated regulatory issues;
    • Session 4: If the planned implementation of higher amounts of mandatory and discretionary vitamin D fortification of milk and other foods will have an impact on vitamin D status of women and young children.

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Updated on 1/7/2021
Created on 1/7/2021
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