BackgroundThe in-utero environment affects fetal development; it is vital to understand how maternal diet during pregnancy influences childhood body composition. While research indicates that triglycerides in hyperglycaemic women may increase birth weight, little is known about this relationship in euglycemic women. This study examines the relationship between maternal blood lipid status and infant adiposity up to 2 years of age.MethodsData from 331 mother-child pairs from the ROLO longitudinal birth cohort study was analysed. Maternal dietary intakes were recorded and fasting blood lipids, leptin and HOMA were measured in early and late pregnancy and cord blood. Infant anthropometric measurements and skin-fold thicknesses were recorded at birth, 6 months and 2 years. Correlation and regression analyses were used to explore associations between maternal blood lipid status and infant adiposity.ResultsAll maternal blood lipids increased significantly during pregnancy. Maternal dietary fat intake was positively associated with total cholesterol levels in early pregnancy. Late pregnancy triglycerides were positively associated with birth weight (P = 0.03) while cord blood triglycerides were negatively associated with birth weight (P = 0.01). Cord HDL-C was negatively associated with infant weight at 6 months (P = 0.005). No other maternal blood lipids were associated with infant weight or adiposity up to 2 years of age.ConclusionMaternal and fetal triglycerides were associated with birth weight and cord HDL-C with weight at 6 months. Thus, maternal lipid concentrations may exert in-utero influences on infant body composition. There may be potential to modulate infant body composition through alteration of maternal diet during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a vital time of growth and development during which maternal nutrition significantly influences the future health of both mother and baby. During pregnancy, the fetus experiences a critical period of plasticity. Epigenetics, specifically DNA methylation, plays an important role here. As nutrition is influential for DNA methylation, this review aims to determine if maternal nutrition during pregnancy can modify the offspring’s epigenome at birth. Research focuses on micronutrients and methyl donors such as folate and B vitamins. Evidence suggests that maternal nutrition does not largely influence global methylation patterns, particularly in nutrient-replete populations; however, an important impact on gene-specific methylation is observed. A link is shown between maternal nutrition and the methylome of the offspring; however, there remains a paucity of research. With the potential to use DNA methylation patterns at birth to predict health of the child in later life, it is vital that further research be carried out.
The epigenetic profile of the developing fetus is sensitive to environmental influence. Maternal diet has been shown to influence DNA methylation patterns in offspring, but research in humans is limited. We investigated the impact of a low glycaemic index dietary intervention during pregnancy on offspring DNA methylation patterns using a genome-wide methylation approach. Sixty neonates were selected from the ROLO (Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet to prevent macrosomia) study: 30 neonates from the low glycaemic index intervention arm and 30 from the control, whose mothers received no specific dietary advice. DNA methylation was investigated in 771,484 CpG sites in free DNA from cord blood serum. Principal component analysis and linear regression were carried out comparing the intervention and control groups. Gene clustering and pathway analysis were also explored. Widespread variation was identified in the newborns exposed to the dietary intervention, accounting for 11% of the total level of DNA methylation variation within the dataset. No association was found with maternal early-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), infant sex, or birthweight. Pathway analysis identified common influences of the intervention on gene clusters plausibly linked to pathways targeted by the intervention, including cardiac and immune functioning. Analysis in 60 additional samples from the ROLO study failed to replicate the original findings. Using a modest-sized discovery sample, we identified preliminary evidence of differential methylation in progeny of mothers exposed to a dietary intervention during pregnancy.
BackgroundPregnancy is a time of altered metabolic functioning and maternal blood lipid profiles change to accommodate the developing fetus. While these changes are physiologically necessary, blood lipids concentrations have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension and high birth weight. As blood lipids are not routinely measured during pregnancy, there is limited information on what is considered normal during pregnancy and in fetal blood.MethodsData from 327 mother-child pairs from the ROLO longitudinal birth cohort study were analysed. Fasting total cholesterol and triglycerides were measured in early and late pregnancy and fetal cord blood. Intervals were calculated using the 2.5th, 50th and 97.5th centile. Data was stratified based on maternal body mass index (BMI) measured during early pregnancy. Differences in blood lipids between BMI categories were explored using ANOVA and infant outcomes of macrosomia and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) were explored using independent student T-tests and binary logistic regression.ResultsAll maternal blood lipid concentrations increased significantly from early to late pregnancy. In early pregnancy, women with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 had lower concentrations of total cholesterol compared to women with a BMI of 25–29.9 kg/m2 (P = 0.02). With triglycerides, women in the obese category (BMI > 30 kg/m2) had higher concentrations than both women in the normal-weight and overweight category in early and late pregnancy (P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). In late pregnancy, triglyceride concentrations remained elevated in women in the obese category compared to women in the normal-weight category (P = 0.01). Triglyceride concentrations were also elevated in late pregnancy in mothers that then gave birth to infants with macrosomia and LGA (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively).ConclusionBlood lipid concentrations increase during pregnancy and differ by maternal BMI. These intervals could help to inform the development of references for blood lipid concentrations during pregnancy.Trial registrationROLO Study - ISRCTN54392969. Date of registration: 22/04/2009.
During pregnancy, changes occur to influence the maternal gut microbiome, and potentially the fetal microbiome. Diet has been shown to impact the gut microbiome. Little research has been conducted examining diet during pregnancy with respect to the gut microbiome. To meet inclusion criteria, dietary analyses must have been conducted as part of the primary aim. The primary outcome was the composition of the gut microbiome (infant or maternal), as assessed using culture-independent sequencing techniques. This review identified seven studies for inclusion, five examining the maternal gut microbiome and two examining the fetal gut microbiome. Microbial data were attained through analysis of stool samples by 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota assessment. Studies found an association between the maternal diet and gut microbiome. High-fat diets (% fat of total energy), fat-soluble vitamins (mg/day) and fibre (g/day) were the most significant nutrients associated with the gut microbiota composition of both neonates and mothers. High-fat diets were significantly associated with a reduction in microbial diversity. High-fat diets may reduce microbial diversity, while fibre intake may be positively associated with microbial diversity. The results of this review must be interpreted with caution. The number of studies was low, and the risk of observational bias and heterogeneity across the studies must be considered. However, these results show promise for dietary intervention and microbial manipulation in order to favour an increase of health-associated taxa in the gut of the mother and her offspring.
Background Adverse birth outcomes are major causes of morbidity and mortality during childhood and associate with a higher risk of noncommunicable diseases in adult life. Maternal periconception and antenatal nutrition, mostly focusing on single nutrients or foods, has been shown to influence infant birth outcomes. However, evidence on whole diet that considers complex nutrient and food interaction is rare and conflicting. We aim to elucidate the influence of whole-diet maternal dietary inflammatory potential and quality during periconceptional and antenatal periods on birth outcomes. Methods and findings We harmonized and pooled individual participant data (IPD) from up to 24,861 mother–child pairs in 7 European mother–offspring cohorts [cohort name, country (recruitment dates): ALSPAC, UK (1 April 1991 to 31 December 1992); EDEN, France (27 January 2003 to 6 March 2006); Generation R, the Netherlands (1 April 2002 to 31 January 2006); Lifeways, Ireland (2 October 2001 to 4 April 2003); REPRO_PL, Poland (18 September 2007 to 16 December 2011); ROLO, Ireland (1 January 2007 to 1 January 2011); SWS, United Kingdom (6 April 1998 to 17 December 2002)]. Maternal diets were assessed preconceptionally (n = 2 cohorts) and antenatally (n = 7 cohorts). Maternal dietary inflammatory potential and quality were ranked using the energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) index, respectively. Primary outcomes were birth weight and gestational age at birth. Adverse birth outcomes, i.e., low birth weight (LBW), macrosomia, small-for-gestational-age (SGA), large-for-gestational-age (LGA), preterm and postterm births were defined according to standard clinical cutoffs. Associations of maternal E-DII and DASH scores with infant birth outcomes were assessed using cohort-specific multivariable regression analyses (adjusted for confounders including maternal education, ethnicity, prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), maternal height, parity, cigarettes smoking, and alcohol consumption), with subsequent random-effects meta-analyses. Overall, the study mothers had a mean ± SD age of 29.5 ± 4.9 y at delivery and a mean BMI of 23.3 ± 4.2 kg/m2. Higher pregnancy DASH score (higher dietary quality) was associated with higher birth weight [β(95% CI) = 18.5(5.7, 31.3) g per 1-SD higher DASH score; P value = 0.005] and head circumference [0.03(0.01, 0.06) cm; P value = 0.004], longer birth length [0.05(0.01, 0.10) cm; P value = 0.010], and lower risk of delivering LBW [odds ratio (OR) (95% CI) = 0.89(0.82, 0.95); P value = 0.001] and SGA [0.87(0.82, 0.94); P value < 0.001] infants. Higher maternal prepregnancy E-DII score (more pro-inflammatory diet) was associated with lower birth weight [β(95% CI) = −18.7(−34.8, −2.6) g per 1-SD higher E-DII score; P value = 0.023] and shorter birth length [−0.07(−0.14, −0.01) cm; P value = 0.031], whereas higher pregnancy E-DII score was associated with a shorter birth length [−0.06(−0.10, −0.01) cm; P value = 0.026] and higher risk of SGA [OR(95% CI) = 1.18(1.11, 1.26); P value < 0.001]. In male, but not female, infants higher maternal prepregnancy E-DII was associated with lower birth weight and head circumference, shorter birth length, and higher risk of SGA (P-for-sex-interaction = 0.029, 0.059, 0.104, and 0.075, respectively). No consistent associations were observed for maternal E-DII and DASH scores with gestational age, preterm and postterm birth, or macrosomia and LGA. Limitations of this study were that self-reported dietary data might have increased nondifferential measurement error and that causality cannot be claimed definitely with observational design. Conclusions In this cohort study, we observed that maternal diet that is of low quality and high inflammatory potential is associated with lower offspring birth size and higher risk of offspring being born SGA in this multicenter meta-analysis using harmonized IPD. Improving overall maternal dietary pattern based on predefined criteria may optimize fetal growth and avert substantial healthcare burden associated with adverse birth outcomes.
Background Mounting evidence suggests that maternal diet influences pregnancy and birth outcomes, but its contribution to the global epidemic of childhood obesity has not as yet been definitively characterized. We investigated whether maternal whole diet quality and inflammatory potential influence childhood adiposity. Methods We harmonized and pooled individual participant data from 16,295 mother-child pairs in seven European birth cohorts. Maternal pre-, early-, late-, and whole-pregnancy (any time during pregnancy) dietary quality and inflammatory potential assessed with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and the energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII™) score, respectively. Primary outcome was childhood overweight and obesity (OWOB) (age-and-sex-specific BMI z-score > 85th percentile). Secondary outcomes were sum of skinfold thickness (SST), fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI). We used multivariable regression analyses (adjusting for maternal lifestyle and sociodemographic factors) to assess the associations of maternal DASH and E-DII scores with offspring adiposity outcomes in cohort-specific analyses, with subsequent random-effect meta-analyses. Results The study mothers had a mean (SD) age of 30.2 (4.6) years and a mean BMI of 23.4 (4.2) kg/m2. Higher early-pregnancy E-DII scores (more pro-inflammatory diet) tended to be associated with a higher odds of late-childhood [10.6 (1.2) years] OWOB [OR (95% CI) 1.09 (1.00, 1.19) per 1-SD E-DII score increase], whereas an inverse association was observed for late-pregnancy E-DII score and early-childhood [2.8 (0.3) years] OWOB [0.91 (0.83, 1.00)]. Higher maternal whole pregnancy DASH score (higher dietary quality) was associated with a lower odds of late-childhood OWOB [OR (95% CI) 0.92 (0.87, 0.98) per 1-SD DASH score increase]; associations were of similar magnitude for early and late-pregnancy [0.86 (0.72, 1.04) and 0.91 (0.85, 0.98), respectively]. These associations were robust in several sensitivity analyses and further adjustment for birth weight and childhood diet did not meaningfully alter the associations and conclusions. In two cohorts with available data, a higher whole pregnancy E-DII and lower DASH scores were associated with a lower late-childhood FFMI in males and a higher mid-childhood FMI in females (P interactions < 0.10). Conclusions A pro-inflammatory, low-quality maternal antenatal diet may adversely influence offspring body composition and OWOB risk, especially during late-childhood. Promoting an overall healthy and anti-inflammatory maternal dietary pattern may contribute to the prevention of childhood obesity, a complex health issue requiring multifaceted strategy.
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