Pattern of Amino Acid Oxidation in Low BMI South Indian Pregnant Women


  • Division of Nutrition, Department of Physiology, St. John's Research Institute, Bangalore - 560 034
  • Division of Nutrition, Department of Physiology, St. John's Research Institute, Bangalore - 560 034
  • Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, St. John's Research Institute, Bangalore - 560 034
  • Division of Nutrition, Department of Physiology, St. John's Research Institute, Bangalore - 560 034



Pregnancy, Low Body Mass Index, Protein Synthesis, Amino Acid Oxidation, 1st Trimester, Maternal Fat Percentage.


It is not known whether Indian pregnant women with low Body Mass Index (BMI) have adequate protein stores to provide sufficient amino acids for the growing fetus and how this interacts with the maternal body fat (energy) stores in early pregnancy. This study aimed to measure amino acid oxidation in pregnant women with low BMI and to evaluate the influence of maternal body fat on amino acid oxidation in early pregnancy. In two experimental studies of low BMI women, leucine oxidation rates significantly reduced from 1st to 3rd trimester (post absorptive state, p<0.002 and fed state, p<0.003, Wilcoxon sign rank test). In the post absorptive state in the 1st trimester, leucine oxidation negatively correlated with maternal fat percentage (r=-0.32, p=0.04). Hence, it would appear that the availability of body fat as an energy store in early pregnancy could reduce the utilization of amino acid as a substrate for the energy demands of the growing feto-placental unit.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Bang, A.T., Reddy, H.M., Bang, R.A. and Deshmukh, M.D. Why do neonates die in rural Gadchiroli, India? (Part II): estimating population attributable risks and contribution of multiple morbidities for identifying a strategy to prevent deaths. J. Perinatol., 2005, 25, 35-43.

Chhabra, P., Sharma, A.K., Grover, V.L. and Aggarwal, O.P. Prevalence of low birth weight and its determinants in an urban resettlement area of Delhi. Asia Pac. J. Public Health., 2004, 16, 95-98.

Robert. B.E., Allen. L.H., Bhutta. Z.A., Caulfield. L.E., de Onis, M., Ezzati, M., Mathers, C. and Rivera, J. Maternal and child undernutrition: Global and regional exposures and health consequences. Lancet, 2008, 371, 243-260.

Duggleby, S.L. and Jackson, A.A. Higher weight at birth is related to decrease maternal amino acid oxidation during pregnancy. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2002, 76, 852-857.

Duggleby, S.L. and Jackson, A.A. Relationship of maternal protein turnover and lean body mass during pregnancy and birth length. Clin. Sci., 2001, 101, 65-72.

Kurpad, A.V., Dwarkanath, P., Thomas, T., Mhaskar, A., Thomas, A., Mhaskar, R. and Jahoor, F. Comparison of leucine and dispensable amino acid kinetics between Indian women with low or normal body mass indexes during pregnancy. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2010, 92, 320-329.

Dwarkanath, P., Hsu, J.W., Tang, G.J., Anand, P., Thomas, T., Thomas, A., Sheela, C.N., Kurpad, A.V. and Jahoor, F. Effect of energy and protein supplementation on amino acid kinetics and pregnancy outcomes in underweight Indian women. J. Nutr., 2016, (E pub ahead of print).

Durnin, J.V.G.A. and Wormersely, J. Estimates of total body fat from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years. Br. J. Nutr., 1974, 32, 77-79.

Vaz, M., Bharathi, A.V., Muthayya, S. and Kurpad, A.V. Food frequency questionnairebased estimates of compliance to ATP III (National Cholesterol Education Programme). Recommended diets in the middleclass adult population of Bangalore city. J. Assoc. Physicians India., 2009, 57, 443-446.

Dwarkanath, P., Soares, M.J., Thomas, T., Vaz, M., Swaminathan, S. and Kurpad, A.V. Food frequency questionnaire is a valid tool for the assessment of dietary habits of South Indian pregnant women. Asia Pac. J. Public Health., 2014, 26, 494-506. doi: 10.1177/ 1010539512459945.

World Health Organization. Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1995.

Holmbäck, U., Forslund, A., Forslund, J., Hambraeus, L., Lennernäs, M., Lowden, A., Stridsberg, M. and Akerstedt, T. Metabolic responses to nocturnal eating in men are affected by sources of dietary energy. J. Nutr., 2002, 132, 1892-1899.

Millward, D.J., Fereday, A., Gibson, N.R. and Pacy, P.J. Post-prandial protein metabolism. Baillieres Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 1996, 10, 533-549.

Thame, M.M., Hsu, J.W., Gibson, R., Baker, T.M., Tang, G.J., Badaloo, A.V., Fletcher, H.M., Jackson, A.A. and Jahoor, F. Adaptation of in vivo amino acid kinetics facilitates increased amino acid availability for fetal growth in adolescent and adult pregnancies alike. Br. J. Nutr., 2014,112, 1779-1786.

Denne, S.C., Patel, D. and Kalhan, S.C. Leucine kinetics and fuel utilization during a brief fast in human pregnancy. Metab. 1991, 40, 1249-1256.

Whittaker, P.G., Lee, C.H. and Taylor R. Whole body protein kinetics in women: effect of pregnancy and IDDM during anabolic stimulation. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 2000, 279, 978-988.

Jolly, M., Bertie, J., Gray, R., Bannister, P., Venkatesan, S., Johnston, D. and Robinson, S. Increased leucine turnover in women during the third trimester of uncomplicated pregnancy. Metab., 2004, 53, 545-549.

Kalhan, S.C., Tserng, K.Y., Gilí»llan, C. and Dierker, L.J. Metabolism of urea and glucose in normal and diabetic pregnancy. Metab., 1982, 31, 824-833.

Kalhan, S.C., Rossi, K.Q., Gruca, L.L., Super, D.M. and Savin, S.M. Relation between transamination of branched-chain amino acids and urea synthesis: evidence from human pregnancy. Am. J. Physiol., 1998, 275, 423-431.

Villar, J., Cogswell, M., Kestler, E., Castillo, P., Menendez, R. and Repke, J.T. Effect of fat and fat-free mass deposition during pregnancy on birth weight. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 1992, 167, 1344-1352.

Owens, J.A., Owens, P.C. and Robinson, J.S. Experimental fetal growth retardation: metabolic and endocrine aspects. In: Gluckman, P.D., Johnston, B.M., Nathanielsz, P.W., eds. Advances in fetal physiology. New York: Perinatology Press, 1989, 263-286.

Campbell, D., Hall, M., Barker, D., Cross, J., Shiell, A. and Godfrey, K. Diet in pregnancy and the offspring's blood pressure 40 years later. Br. J. Obstet. Gynaecol., 1996, 103, 273-280.

Hytten, F.E. and Leitch, I. The physiology of human pregnancy. 2nd ed. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1971.

Ounsted, M., Moar, V. and Scott, A. Neurological development of small-for-gestational age babies during the first year of life. Early Hum Dev. 1988, 16, 163-172.



How to Cite

Anand, P., Dwarkanath, P., Thomas, T., & Kurpad, A. V. (2016). Pattern of Amino Acid Oxidation in Low BMI South Indian Pregnant Women. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 53(2), 153–163.

Most read articles by the same author(s)