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Maternal low-glycemic-index diet influence growth of offspring

Posted:  Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Low-glycemic-index diet during pregnancy improves outcomes in offspring

Women with diabetes during pregnancy are likely to benefit from low-glycemic-index (GI) meals. A low-GI diet during pregnancy also protects the offspring from the risk of obesity or type 2 diabetes during adulthood. In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers explored the effect of low-GI food during pregnancy on outcomes during infancy.

Kizirian et al. conducted a longitudinal follow-up study to evaluate the efficacy of supplementation of low-GI and high-fibre (HF) diets in a self-selected subgroup of 59 mother-infant pairs. The outcomes were measured in the newborns by taking anthropometric measurements at each month from birth till 6 months, and later at 9 months and 12 months of age. The adiposity was measured by air-displacement plethysmography at birth and 3 months of age, and bioimpedance analysis at 6 months and 12 months of infant age. The aortic intima-media thickness was measured by using high-resolution ultrasound at the age of 12 months.

The study findings indicated that maternal dietary GI was lower in the low-GI group compared to the HF group (51 ± 1 vs. 57 ± 1, respectively; p<0.001). The neonates’ birth weight and length scores were lower in low-GI diet group than the HF group. Aortic intima-media thickness was lower in the low-GI group than in the HF group (657 ±12 μm vs. 696 ± 12 μm, respectively; p=0.02). However, the adiposity and growth trajectories recorded from birth to 12 months of age were similar across the two groups.

The study concluded that following a low-GI diet during pregnancy positively influences the outcomes during infancy. A low-GI diet reduced the birth weight and length of the offspring. The aortic intima-media thickness also decreased with a low-GI diet. The adiposity or growth trajectory during the first year of life remained independent of dietary GI.

News Source: Kizirian NV, et al. Effects of a low–glycemic index diet during pregnancy on offspring growth, body composition, and vascular health: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2016 Apr 1;103(4):1073-82.