Nutritional supplementation before and during pregnancy may reduce early childhood obesity risk

3 min read /
Obesity Growth & Development

Brief introduction

Maternal micronutrient status, before and during pregnancy, has been shown to influence the child’s body size and growth patterns. A recent study (Lyons-Reid et al.) presents new information on the impact of nutritional supplementation with myo-inositol, probiotics and micronutrients, given during the preconception and antenatal period, on childhood obesity risk at 2 years old.1

Methodology & Results

The study utilized data from the Nutritional Intervention Preconception and During Pregnancy to Maintain Healthy Glucose Levels and Offspring Health (NiPPeR) randomized controlled trial. The intervention given twice daily before and during pregnancy, contains myo-inositol, vitamin D, B-vitamins, zinc, and probiotics. Anthropometric data of the offspring at different points from birth to 2 years old was used to compute for the BMI, growth patterns, and weight gain trajectories.1

The results revealed that compared to those born in the control group, offspring born to mothers in the intervention group tend to have lower BMI (Fig. 1). Data analysis also showed that intervention offspring had 50% lower risk of obesity, 24-45% lower risk of rapid weight gain, and are more likely to have normal growth trajectory pattern in the first 2 years of life. 

Fig. 1. Mean BMI standard deviation scores (BMI SDS) of control and intervention offspring during in the first 2 years of life.1



The results suggest that preconception and antenatal supplementation with micronutrients, myo-inositol, and probiotics have beneficial effects on lowering the risk of childhood obesity and rapid weight gain. These findings are consistent with published data, which demonstrate that micronutrient deficiency is associated with higher fat mass and rapid weight gain and that myo-inositol and probiotics have protective effects over maternal dysglycemia, a risk factor for childhood obesity.


Supplementation with myo-inositol, probiotics and micronutrients before and during pregnancy potentially reduces the risk of childhood obesity and rapid weight gain, and promote normal growth trajectory during the first 2 years of life.

Source: Lyons‐Reid J, et al. Impact of preconception and antenatal supplementation with myo‐inositol, probiotics, and micronutrients on offspring BMI and weight gain over the first 2 years. BMC Med. 2024 Jan 30;22(1):39.