Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antioxidants in pregnancy prevent obesity in animal offspring

Date:
March 14, 2011
Source:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Summary:
New biological research may be relevant to the effects of a mother's high-fat diet during pregnancy on the development of obesity in her children. An animal study suggests that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet causes oxidative stress -- an excess of deleterious free radicals -- during pregnancy, predisposing the offspring to obesity and diabetes. Feeding rats antioxidants before and during pregnancy completely prevented obesity and glucose intolerance in their offspring.

New biological research may be relevant to the effects of a mother's high-fat diet during pregnancy on the development of obesity in her children.

Related Articles


An animal study at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet causes oxidative stress (an excess of deleterious free radicals) during pregnancy, predisposing the offspring to obesity and diabetes. Feeding rats antioxidants before and during pregnancy completely prevented obesity and glucose intolerance in their offspring.

If the results in animals prove to be similar in humans, the research may have implications for reducing obesity rates in children. "We already know that there are critical periods during human development that influence the later development of obesity," said senior author Rebecca A. Simmons, M.D., a neonatologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "This research suggests that if we can prevent inflammation and oxidative stress during pregnancy, we may lower the risk that a child will develop obesity."

The study by Simmons and co-author Sarbattama Sen, M.D., was published in the December 2010 print edition of Diabetes.

Oxidative stress is a condition in which quantities of highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (free radicals and other chemicals) exceed the body's ability to control their biological damage to cells. It is already known that obesity in people contributes to oxidative stress, in part by causing inflammation. Furthermore, obesity during pregnancy creates an abnormal metabolic environment during human gestation.

The current study tested the hypothesis that a high-fat diet during pregnancy increases oxidative stress and leads to obesity in the offspring of animals. Simmons and Sen also investigated whether supplementing the animals' diet with antioxidants would prevent obesity in the offspring.

The researchers simulated a Western-style diet by feeding high-fat, high-carbohydrate chow to one group of rats, compared to a control group fed a more balanced diet. In two other groups (one fed a Western diet, the other fed a control diet), the researchers added antioxidant vitamins.

Among the rats that ate only the Western diet, the offspring had significantly higher measures of inflammation and oxidative stress, and as early as two weeks of age, were significantly fatter, with impaired glucose tolerance compared to control rats. However, rats eating the Western diet plus antioxidants had offspring with significantly lower oxidative stress, as well as no obesity and significantly better glucose tolerance. The effects persisted at two months of age.

"These results suggest that if we prevent obesity, inflammation and oxidative stress in pregnant animals, we can prevent obesity in the offspring," said Simmons. Simmons added that a next step in this research is to determine the mechanisms by which inflammation and oxidative stress cause more fat tissue to develop.

She cautioned that until these effects are carefully studied in people, one shouldn't conclude that the biological effects seen in animals are the same in humans. In the meantime, she added that, whether pregnant or not, women should certainly not conclude from this study that they should consume large doses of antioxidant vitamins.

The National Institutes of Health and the Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania supported this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Sen, R. A. Simmons. Maternal Antioxidant Supplementation Prevents Adiposity in the Offspring of Western Diet-Fed Rats. Diabetes, 2010; 59 (12): 3058 DOI: 10.2337/db10-0301

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Antioxidants in pregnancy prevent obesity in animal offspring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314143450.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2011, March 14). Antioxidants in pregnancy prevent obesity in animal offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314143450.htm
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Antioxidants in pregnancy prevent obesity in animal offspring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314143450.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins