Evolutionary Nutrition Pilot

Evaluating the effects of an evolutionary nutrition intervention during pregnancy on fetal growth and brain development.

Location: El Quinche, Ecuador

Collaborators: Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine

Description: Globally, 250 million children do not reach their developmental potential and 155 million are stunted, yet few population-based studies have examined the direct effects of nutrient deficiencies on early brain development. This study is examining an evolutionary nutrition intervention during pregnancy derived from diets consumed for 99.9% of hominin history when bodies and brains were healthier.  The trial is currently underway in the central highlands of Ecuador and aims to 1) compare the efficacy of maternal evolutionary nutrition intervention on fetal/newborn linear growth outcomes, 2) examine the metabolic pathways that mitigate fetal/newborn growth outcomes in association with maternal nutrition and 3) characterize change in fetal/newborn brain morphology using field friendly imaging techniques.

Sponsor: Children’s Discovery Institute