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Annu Rev Nutr. 2007;27:277-92.

Energy metabolism during human pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Biomedicine and Surgery, Division of Nutrition, Linköping University, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.


This review summarizes information regarding how human energy metabolism is affected by pregnancy, and current estimates of energy requirements during pregnancy are presented. Such estimates can be calculated using either increases in basal metabolic rate (BMR) or increases in total energy expenditure (TEE). The two modes of calculation give similar results for a complete pregnancy but different distributions of energy requirements in the three trimesters. Recent information is presented regarding the effect of pregnancy on BMR, TEE, diet-induced thermogenesis, and physical activity. The validity of energy intake (EI) data recently assessed in well-nourished pregnant women was evaluated using information regarding energy metabolism during pregnancy. The results show that underreporting of EI is common during pregnancy and indicate that additional longitudinal studies, taking the total energy budget during pregnancy into account, are needed to satisfactorily define energy requirements during the three trimesters of gestation.

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