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Optimizing Maternal Nutrition: Adaptive trials and molecular methods to improve maternal and newborn health

Poor maternal nutrition is linked to poor birth outcomes. Current vitamin and mineral recommendations in pregnancy are based on limited data mostly from animal models and non-pregnant people. This study seeks to improve our understanding of the amounts of vitamins and minerals that are needed during pregnancy, to improve the health of women and newborns, especially in low-and middle-income countries. Nutrients travel around the body in blood, therefore part of the research is to understand how much blood and the watery component of blood (plasma) increases in pregnancy. This is a collaborative study with George Washington University (lead PI is there). The Penn State team will conduct pilot work to establish a method for measuring plasma volume in 2 phases. In phase 1, nonpregnant will be asked to attend one visit and plasma volume will be measured by injecting indocyanine-green (ICG, a green dye) and hydroxyethyl starch (HES, a form of starch) through an IV in the arm. In phase 2, pregnant women will be asked to attend 2 visits that are 4 weeks apart, but only HES (the starch) will be injected. For both phases (1 and 2), blood draws will occur at each visit and other non-invasive measurements will also be taken (e.g. weight, height, blood pressure). Each visit should take less than 2 hours and will be conducted at the Clinical Research Center in Noll Laboratory on the Penn State campus.
Leigh Taylor at or 814-867-5938
18 year(s) or older
This study is also accepting healthy volunteers
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Inclusion Criteria:
Are a female 18-44 years old
Are generally healthy with normal blood pressure and BMI
Phase 1
•not pregnant
Phase 2
•are currently pregnant (22-32 weeks)
Exclusion Criteria:
Known allergy to iodine, shellfish, or corn
Currently have low or high blood pressure
Taking regular medication(s) prescribed by a physician
Phase 1
•pregnant or breastfeeding
Phase 2
•multiple/twin pregnancy
Food & Nutrition, Women's Health, Pregnancy & Infertility
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State College, PA