Experimental evidence from animal models and epidemiology studies has demonstrated that nutrition affects lung development and may have a lifelong impact on respiratory health. Chronic restriction of nutrients and/or oxygen during pregnancy causes structural changes in the airways and parenchyma that may result in abnormal lung function, which is tracked throughout life. Inadequate nutritional management in very premature infants hampers lung growth and may be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Recent evidence seems to indicate that infant and childhood malnutrition does not determine lung function impairment even in the presence of reduced lung size due to delayed body growth. This review will focus on the effects of malnutrition occurring at critical time periods such as pregnancy, early life, and childhood, on lung growth and long-term lung function.
Arigliani, M., Spinelli, A. M., Liguoro, I., & Cogo, P. (2018, July 18). Nutrition and lung growth. Nutrients. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070919