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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;58(12):1626-34.

Pulque intake during pregnancy and lactation in rural Mexico: alcohol and child growth from 1 to 57 months.

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Joint PhD Program in Urban Systems, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ 07107, USA.



To examine maternal intake of a mildly alcoholic beverage (pulque) during pregnancy and lactation, and its potential effect on postpartum child growth and attained size.


A prospective cohort study that followed mothers (during pregnancy and lactation) and their offspring (from birth to approximately 57 months of age).


Six villages in rural, central Mexico.


Subjects are 58 mother-child pairs. Pulque intake was measured as part of a dietary assessment that was conducted for 2days/month during pregnancy and early lactation.


Most mothers consumed pulque during pregnancy (69.0%) and lactation (72.4%). Among pulque drinkers, the average ethanol intake was 125.1 g/week during pregnancy and 113.8 g/week during lactation. Greater pulque intake during lactation, independent of intake during pregnancy, was associated with slower weight and linear growth from 1 to 57 months, and smaller attained size at 57 months. Low-to-moderate pulque intake during pregnancy, in comparison to either nonconsumption or heavy intake, was also associated with greater stature at 57 months.


Pulque intake during lactation may have adversely influenced postnatal growth in this population. Public health interventions are urgently needed in Mexico to reduce heavy intake of pulque by pregnant and lactating women, and to replace intake with foods that provide the vitamins and minerals present in the traditional alcoholic beverage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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