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Appetite Sensations and Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy: An Overview of the Explanations

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We review information about the potential mechanisms underlying nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP), food cravings, and/or aversions in pregnancy. In addition to providing overviews about genetic predispositions and hormonal associations with appetite sensations and NVP, we review two functional explanations: the “maternal and embryo protection” and the “placental growth and development” hypotheses. We conclude with a discussion about the kinds of data that would enable us to better evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of NVP across disparate resource and ecological conditions.

Keywords: biocultural; food aversions; food cravings; nausea and vomiting in pregnancy; nutrition; review

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology,University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago,Illinois, USA 2: Department of Biology,Loyola University Chicago, Chicago,Illinois, USA 3: Division of Nutritional Sciences,Cornell University, Ithaca,New York, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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