Does a Mother’s Diet Effect the Quality of Breast Milk?

Even moms who seem like a wholesome weight may be affected by hidden points reminiscent of a fatty liver – which can be seen in people who find themselves chubby or overweight – from consuming a weight loss program heavy in processed meals, which are usually excessive in fats and sugar. This can result in superior scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure.

The new findings concerned scientists from the Sferruzzi-Perri Lab on the Center for Trophoblast Research, University of Cambridge, and The Department for the Woman and Newborn Health Promotion on the University of Chile in Santiago, and are revealed by the journal Acta Physiologica.


Co-lead writer Professor Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, Professor in Fetal and Placental Physiology and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, mentioned: “Women eating diets that tend to have high sugar and high-fat content may not realize what impact that might be having on their health, especially if there’s not an obvious change in their body weight.

“They may need better adiposity – larger ranges of fats mass – which we all know is a predictor of many well being issues. That might not overtly affect on their capacity to turn out to be pregnant however may have penalties for the expansion of the child earlier than delivery, and the well being and wellbeing of the child after delivery.”

It is already recognized that a ‘Western style’ diet high in fat and sugar is contributing to a pandemic of raised body mass index (BMI) and obesity not only in developed countries but also in developing nations undergoing urbanization, including Chile. As a result, just over half of women (52.7%) in many populations around the world are overweight or obese when they conceive, leading to problems in both achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Obesity has been recreated in mice before, but most studies focus on the effects of chronic, long-term high fat, high sugar diets. In this new study, a group of mice was fed a diet of processed high-fat pellets with sweetened condensed milk for just three weeks before pregnancy, during the three-week pregnancy itself, and the following birth. This diet was designed to mimic the nutritional content of a fast food burger, fries and sugary soft drink. The aim was to determine the impacts on fertility, fetal growth and neonatal outcomes.

The researchers discovered that even a short-term high fat, high sugar diet impacted on the survival of the mice pups in the early period after birth, with an increased loss during the time the mother was feeding her offspring. Milk proteins are hugely important for newborn development but the quality was found to be poor in mouse mothers eating the high fat, high sugar diet.

“We needed to know what was happening, as a result of the moms regarded okay, they weren’t giant when it comes to their measurement. But what we discovered was that though the mice appeared to have okay charges of getting pregnant, they did have better quantities of adipose – fats tissue – of their physique in and in the beginning of being pregnant,” said Professor Sferruzzi-Perri.

“They ended up with fatty livers, which is admittedly harmful for the mum, and there was altered formation of the placenta. The weight of the fetus itself wasn’t affected. They appeared lighter, but it surely wasn’t important. But what was Then once we checked out how the mum could also be supporting the child after being pregnant, we discovered that her mammary gland improvement and her milk protein composition was altered, and that will have been the reason for the better well being issues of the new child pups.”

When a woman of larger size is pregnant, clinicians are often most concerned about the risk of diabetes and abnormal baby growth. But in mums-to-be who look healthy, regardless of their food intake, subtle, but potentially dangerous changes in pregnancy may slip under the radar.

“The hanging half is {that a} quick publicity to a weight loss program from simply earlier than being pregnant that will not be noticeably altering a lady’s physique measurement or physique weight should be having implications for the mom’s well being, the unborn little one and her capacity to help the new child later ,” said Professor Sferruzzi-Perri.

“We’re getting increasingly data {that a} mom’s weight loss program is so vital. What you are consuming for a few years earlier than or simply earlier than being pregnant can have fairly an affect on the child’s improvement.”

Professor Sferruzzi-Perri said it is important for women to be educated about eating a healthy, balanced diet before trying to get pregnant, as well as during the pregnancy and afterward. She would also like to see more pregnancy support tailored to individual mothers, even if they look outwardly healthy. “It’s about having a very good high quality weight loss program for the mum to have good high quality milk so the child can thrive.”

With fast, processed foods often cheaper to buy, Professor Sferruzzi-Perri fears that poverty and inequality may be barriers to adopting a healthy and active lifestyle. She said: “It prices some huge cash to purchase wholesome meals, to purchase recent fruit and greens, to purchase lean meat. Often, the simplest and most cost-effective possibility is to have processed meals, which are usually excessive in sugar and fats. With the price of residing going up, these households which might be already disadvantaged usually tend to be consuming meals which might be nutritionally low worth, as a result of they’ve much less cash of their pocket.

“That can have implications not just on their health and wellbeing, but also the health and wellbeing of their child. We also know that this is not only in the immediate period after birth, as unhealthy diets can lead to a lifelong risk of diabetes and heart disease for the child in the longer term. So these diets can really create a continuum of negative health impacts, with implications for subsequent generations.”

Source: Eurekalert

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