Dietary intake, nutrition, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in the Western Cape Province of South Africa
CITATION: May, P. A., et al. 2014. Dietary intake, nutrition, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Reproductive Toxicology, 46:31-39, doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.02.002.
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In this study, we describe the nutritional status of women from a South African community with very high rates of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Nutrient intake (24-2 hours recall) of mothers of children with FASD was compared to mothers of normal controls. Nutrient adequacy was assessed using Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). More than 50 percent of all mothers were below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamins A, D, E, and C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Mean intakes were below the Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin K, potassium, and choline. Mothers of children with FASD reported significantly lower intake of calcium, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), riboflavin, and choline than controls. Lower intake of multiple key nutrients correlates significantly with heavy drinking. Poor diet quality and multiple nutritional inadequacies coupled with prenatal alcohol exposure may increase the risk for FASD in this population.