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Diet during pregnancy determines the health status of offspring

Posted:  Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The bitter truth about the sweet! An animal study has indicated that high fructose/sugar intake during pregnancy may make the offspring more susceptible to metabolic disorders.

The study was presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Atlanta, USA. A high fructose solution and water was the only drinking fluid administered to the two groups of mice from the first day of pregnancy till delivery.

The mice offspring were given regular diet and observed for a year. Percent visceral adipose tissue, liver fat infiltrates, and blood pressure were measured. Serum levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, leptin and adiponectin were also assessed. The study findings showed that glucose levels were high in offspring of mothers who received the fructose solution. In female offspring, there was increased body weight, higher levels of visceral adipose tissue, greater liver fat infiltrates, high serum leptin and lower serum adiponectin levels. However, the high maternal fructose diet did not have any significant impact on male offspring.

This animal study heralds important implications for humans. Maternal diet during conception may impact the future health of the growing foetus. The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Antonio Saad, M.D. emphasised this when he said, "Through this study, we know that consuming high fructose during pregnancy puts the child at future risk for a variety of health conditions including obesity and the many complications it causes.

The study findings indicate that high sugar intake might have a significant impact on long term health in humans and might lead to metabolic dysfunction and chronic disorders.

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