The Metabolism of Protein during Pregnancy

  • D. J. Naismith
Part of the Nutrition and Food Science book series (NFS, volume 3)


The control of amino acid metabolism is partly exercised by hormones that regulate the activities of rate-limiting enzymes in the tissues. During pregnancy the amounts of the hormones secreted may be profoundly changed, patterns of secretion may differ at different stages of pregnancy, rates of degradation and excretion may by altered, and normal metabolic effects may be modulated or even suppressed as a result of hormone antagonisms. This reorganization of the normal female endocrinology is to a large extent initiated by the emergent endocrine function of the placenta. Hormones produced by the cooperative enterprise of the placenta and the foetal adrenals and liver, participate in or even appropriate the roles of the maternal pituitary, the ovaries, adrenal cortices and the pancreas. Thus the foetus is directly involved in the maintenance of pregnancy, a cardinal feature of which is the assurance of an adequate nutrient supply.


Early Pregnancy Adrenal Cortex Late Pregnancy Amino Acid Pool Urea Synthesis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Naismith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NutritionQueen Elizabeth CollegeLondon W8UK

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