Nutrition and Genes in the Development of Orofacial Clefting

Authors

  • Ingrid P. Krapels MD, PhD,

    1. Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Rad-boud University Nijmegen Medical Center, the Netherlands
    2. Department of Orthodontics and Oral Biology, Radboud University
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  • Christl Vermeij-Keers MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Michael Müller,

    1. Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
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  • Annelies de Klein Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Régine P. Steegers-Theunissen MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Rad-boud University Nijmegen Medical Center, the Netherlands
    2. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Division of Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Clinical Genetics, and Pediatrics/Divison of Pediatric Cardiology, Erasmus MC.
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Associate Professor in Reproductive Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Division of Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Phone: 31–10–4636886; Fax: 31–10–4636815; E-mail: r.steegers@erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

Clefts of the lip, alveolus, and/or palate, which are called orofacial clefts (OFC), occur in 0.5 to 3 per 1000 live and stillbirths. The pathogenesis of these congenital malformations remains largely unknown, but evidence is increasing that both nutritional and genetic factors are involved. Unlike genetic factors, nutritional causes can be corrected and may therefore contribute to the prevention of OFC. The goal of this review is to summarize the embryogenesis and genes involved in OFC, and to give an overview of the nutrients and related genes in humans. Improving our knowledge of the role of nutrition, genes, and their interactions in the pathogenesis of OFC may stimulate the development of nutritional interventions for OFC prevention in the future.

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