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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (2): 80-86.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.01.003

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Periconceptional care and offspring health at birth and long term, from the perspective of Avicenna

Mohammad Ansaripoura, Mohsen Naserib(), Mohammad Mahdi Esfahanic, Iraj Nabipourd, Fatemeh Rakhshanie, Arman Zargaranf, Roya Kelishadig   

  1. a Department of Iranian Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran 33191-18651, Iran
    b Traditional Medicine Clinical Trial Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran 14179-53836, Iran
    c Traditional Medicine Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, School of Iranian Traditional Medicine, Tehran 16687-53961, Iran
    d The Persian Gulf Biomedical Research Institute, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr 75147-63448, Iran
    e Health Education and Promotion Department, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, School of Public Health, Tehran 19835-35511, Iran
    f Department of History of Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 16687-53961, Iran
    g Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Noncommunicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 81746-73461, Iran
  • Received:2018-09-13 Accepted:2018-12-27 Online:2019-03-06 Published:2019-05-17

Periconceptional care such as lifestyle plays an important impact role in offspring health. The aim of the present study was to clarify the perspective of Avicenna on periconceptional care. Avicenna (980–1037 A.D.) was one of the outstanding Persian physicians, who made great contributions to the field of medical sciences, in particular, obstetrics. In advance, Avicenna’s book, Canon of Medicine, was considered to find his perspectives on periconceptional care. Then, his ideas and theories were compared to the current findings by searching the keywords in main indexing systems including PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus and Institute for Scientific Information Web of Science as well as the search engine of Google Scholar. Current investigations show that gamete quality, pregnancy outcome, and offspring health at birth and long term depend on both parents’ lifestyle in pre- and periconceptional period, as well as the intrauterine environment. Avicenna believed that seminal fluid, sperm, ovum, and developing conditions in utero were influenced by the stages of food digestion and the function of some organs. On the other hand, food digestion and function of the organs also depend on each parent’s lifestyle and environmental factors. He mentioned 6 principles of healthy lifestyle: exercise, nutrition, sleep and awareness, excretion of body wastes and retention of necessary materials, psychic features, as well as air and climate. Thus, a multicomponent healthy lifestyle should be considered by parents of child-bearing age in an appropriate period before and in early pregnancy as well as elimination of any disorders in parents, to give birth to more healthy offspring.

Key words: Avicenna, Epigenetic diseases, Healthy lifestyle, Offspring health, Periconceptional care, Persian medicine

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