Estimation of body cell mass using potassium counter in pregnant women and neonates

Project Lead
Dr. Rebecca Kurian Raj
Source of Funding
Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

LBW prevalence is continuing to be quite high in India (~30%), and is not showing a significant decline despite this being a priority millennium development goal (MDG). Many causes have been postulated for this. One cause, inadequately evaluated in our setting is low quality and quantity of maternal protein intakes, which may be especially relevant in anthropometrically undernourished women, or adolescent mothers whose body protein (muscle) stores are as yet underdeveloped, subsisting on vegetarian diets with sub-optimal protein quantity and quality. The main goal of this project is to build a state of art whole body potassium counter and to estimate body cell mass accretion in pregnant women (otherwise normal and adolescent) at different stages of pregnancy and to correlate it with neonatal body composition and maternal protein intake.