A healthy diet during infancy prevents metabolic alterations in offspring according to a study by CIBEROBN and UIB – Salud Ediciones

Equipo del área de Obesidad y Nutrición del Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBEROBN), con el profesor Andreu Palou, su responsable, en primera fila - Foto: A.Costa/UIB

A healthy diet during lactation prevents metabolic alterations in the offspring according to a study conducted by the Obesity and Nutrition team of the Center for Biomedical Research in Network (CIBEROBN) and scientists from the UIB published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

These results highlight that recovering a healthier maternal diet during lactation can at least partially prevent metabolic disorders in the offspring caused by poor diet and obesity during the prenatal phases.

The study was carried out by the Molecular Biology, Nutrition and Biotechnology Laboratory (Nutrigenomics, Biomarkers and Risk Assessment Group, NuBE) of the UIB and the Balearic Islands Health Research Institute (IdISBa), in collaboration with the Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

In an animal model, it has been shown that the normalization of the maternal diet during lactation prevents the harmful effects of an obesogenic diet which before and during pregnancy exert on the lipidome or lipidomic profile (the set of hundreds of lipids) of breast milk and offspring plasma.

This new knowledge shows that restoring a healthier maternal diet during lactation can prevent, at least in part, metabolic disorders in the offspring caused by poor diet and obesity during the prenatal phases.

Previous intervention studies in animal models had shown that taking an obesogenic diet during the perinatal period affects the functioning of the mammary gland and therefore the composition of milk, which means that these alterations can be “programmed in the offspring”. » .

This programming leads to a greater propensity to develop chronic pathologies in adulthood. Researchers investigated intervention strategies during the lactation period to prevent adverse effects caused by unbalanced maternal nutrition during pregnancy, or even earlier.

To do this, they analyzed the lipidomic profile to determine alterations in this profile that could potentially be involved in the offspring’s risk of developing diseases in later stages of life, also analyzing the plasma lipid profile of the offspring. in the final stage of life.breastfeeding.

The results of this study showed that maternal consumption of an obesogenic diet throughout the perinatal period (specifically, from one month before pregnancy and during pregnancy and lactation) causes a marked change in the lipid composition of the milk and plasma of their young at a young age.

These alterations were largely reversed both in the milk of mothers who received a standard (balanced) diet during lactation and in the plasma of their offspring. The reversal of these changes has been linked, at least in part, to the recovery of hormone expression levels.

It is the hormone adiponectin in the mammary gland. These changes have also been linked to decreased expression of various pro-inflammatory factors. The authors of the study, led by Dr. Catalina Picó, are currently studying how to extrapolate these results to humans.

In any case, they recommend extreme caution in feeding during lactation, a critical period in which it is possible to correct metabolic alterations in the offspring that may have been badly programmed by previous feeding periods or unhealthy lifestyles.

The CIBER Consortium (Network of Biomedical Research Centers, MP) depends on the Carlos III Health Institute -Ministry of Science and Innovation- and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition domain (CIBEROBN) is made up of 33 national groups.

These working groups, of proven scientific excellence, focus their research work on the study of obesity, nutrition and physical exercise in order to generate useful knowledge for clinical practice, the food industry and society as a whole.

The groups are also working on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, the prevention of metabolic disorders, childhood and adolescent obesity and the relationship between obesity and cancer. One of these groups is the one who developed this latest research work at the University of the Balearic Islands.

Bibliographic reference

Pedro Castillo, Ondrej Kuda, Jan Kopecky, Catalina Amadora Pomar, Andrés Palou, Mariona Palou, Catalina Picó. “Reversion to a zdravá diet during lactation normalizes breast milk lipid content in diet-induced obese rats and prevents alterations in the plasma lipidome of the offspring”. Molecular nutrition and food research. DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.202200204


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