|Maternal Nutrition and The Child’s Sex: A Review|
|Mahdieh Pouryazdanpanah, Mohsen Nematy|
|Department of Nutrition, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, Iran|
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Keywords : Sex Selection, Maternal Nutrition Physiology, Nutritional Status
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Objective: Over the last years, maternal nutrition and its effect on the fetal health have been much attended, and different aspects of it have been widely investigated. However, the effect of diet on the child sex has not been well understood, it has been considered by parents from past till now. According to hypotheses which indicate that maternal nutrition status is associated with the sex of child, this study is conducted to evaluate whether maternal nutrition affects the child’s sex in humans.
Materials and Methods: A systematic literature search in English was performed using pre-determined key words on preconception maternal diet, maternal nutritional status, fetal sex, and sex ratio in international electronic databases (ISI Web of Knowledge, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus) with no time limitation. Reviews, letters to the editors, commentaries, editorials, experts’ opinions, and publications without available electronic full texts were excluded.
Results: Fifteen studies fulfilled the criteria and were categorized into two groups; the first group included publications on the maternal nutritional status. Despite the heterogeneity of the articles, it was assumed that the nutritional status did not affect the sex ratio at birth except for malnutrition. In the second group which included publications on the maternal diet, the results illustrated a relationship between high sodium and potassium intake and male gender. Also, high magnesium and calcium intakes were related with a female fetus.
Conclusion: There are not enough publications regarding the effect of the maternal nutrition on the sex of the child. More researches are warranted.
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