Dr. Shannon discusses how micronutrient deficiencies can affect an expectant mother and her developing child.
A micronutrient deficiency is a shortfall or a deficiency of one of many different micronutrients in the diet.
So we need to understand that there are macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
And then the micronutrients are the much smaller amounts of things like B6, B12, calcium, magnesium and these are the ones that are most commonly going to be deficient in the modern American diet.
So I think it makes sense for us to look at doing the best we can with food and nutrition, but also we are probably going to need to move towards supplementation to make sure that those basic needs are met in the American diet.
Well I think women, because of menstruation, breastfeeding and pregnancy are at much higher risk than, in general, men are.
And certainly in the pregnancy we need to be very concerned about omega-3 essential fatty acids and making sure there’s broad micronutrient supplementation to ensure that children are happy, healthy and not going to be plagued by psychiatric symptoms.
There’s something called the Barker Hypothesis that finds that when pregnant women are deficient in an item it can affect their child for many years down the road.
For example, if women are deficient in iron it can create a problem with intelligence many years down the road which is a significant concern.
So we try to make sure that pregnant women get the best available nutrition and supplementation.
About Dr. Scott Shannon, M.D.:
Dr. Scott Shannon, M.D., graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Following a psychiatric internship he worked for four years in rural Arizona as a general practitioner. Dr. Shannon then completed a psychiatric residency at a Columbia program in New York. After his child psychiatry fellowship at the University of New Mexico he moved to Colorado. His practice includes a wide variety of approaches including herbs, supplements, medications, nutrition, and acupuncture. Dr. Shannon served as the Principle Investigator on a recent research grant exploring the value of acupuncture in the nausea of chemotherapy.