Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-fat diet during pregnancy contributes to offspring's increased weight

Date:
June 17, 2013
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
Exposure to a high-fat diet in the womb and after birth can permanently change the cells in the brain that control food intake, predisposing monkeys to overeating and an increased preference for fatty and sugary foods, a new study finds.

Exposure to a high-fat diet in the womb and after birth can permanently change the cells in the brain that control food intake, predisposing monkeys to overeating and an increased preference for fatty and sugary foods, a new study finds.

The results were presented Monday at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, also found that male offspring of maternal monkeys that ate a high-fat diet had increased body weight, compared with the offspring of mothers that ate a low-fat diet.

"Studies in humans have demonstrated that maternal obesity during pregnancy is a strong determinant of offspring body mass index, or BMI," said the study's lead author, Juliana Gastao Franco, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Oregon Health and Science University.

"Our group demonstrated that consumption of a high-fat diet during gestation alters fetal development of neurons that control food intake, ultimately leading to an increased preference for high-calorie food and to increased body fat in the offspring."

Franco and her co-investigators studied monkeys born to females that consumed either a low-fat (control) diet, consisting of 14 percent of calories from fat, or a high-fat diet in which 36 percent of calories came from fat. After weaning, 20 offspring of female monkeys on the high-fat diet either received the same high-fat diet (8 monkeys) or were switched to the control diet (12 monkeys). Seven offspring of the control monkeys continued to receive the control diet.

When the monkeys were 6 to 11 months of age (equivalent to toddlers in humans), the researchers measured their total food intake, dietary preferences, body composition, physical activity and metabolic rate, which is the rate at which the body burns calories. Using molecular and cell biology techniques, the investigators examined neurotransmitter systems in the monkeys' hypothalamus, the region of the brain that regulates food intake.

All male offspring that had fetal exposure to a high-fat diet had increased body weight, despite having no changes in their metabolic rate and regardless of what they ate after weaning, Franco reported. Also, the offspring that were switched to the control diet displayed, on average, greater overall food intake and increased binge eating of food with high sugar and fat, compared with either those maintained on a high-fat diet or the controls' offspring, she said.

According to Franco, these animals had what appeared to be permanent changes in their hypothalamus -- an abnormal organization of the neurons that control food intake.

Co-author Elinor Sullivan, PhD, also of Oregon Health and Science University, speculated on the possible cause of this neurochemical change.

"We know that obesity incites inflammatory cytokines [molecules], which change how neurons develop," Sullivan said. "We believe that inflammation in the brain is causing the reprogramming of these appetite-regulating neurons."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "High-fat diet during pregnancy contributes to offspring's increased weight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617142033.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2013, June 17). High-fat diet during pregnancy contributes to offspring's increased weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617142033.htm
Endocrine Society. "High-fat diet during pregnancy contributes to offspring's increased weight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617142033.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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