Effects of a poor diet during pregnancy may be reversed in female adolescent offspring

mice
Credit: martha sexton/public domain

Here's some good news if you are female: Research published online in The FASEB Journal, shows that in mice, what is eaten during adolescence or childhood development may alter long-term behavior and learning, and can even "rescue" females from the negative effects on behavior resulting from a poor maternal diet during pregnancy.

"These are provocative findings," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal." So many effects during pregnancy have been touted as irreversible—perhaps not always so. "

In their study Reyes and colleagues used four groups of female mice. The first group was fed a control diet during pregnancy and lactation. The second group was fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation. The third was also fed a nutrient-enriched diet during .

The fourth group included offspring from the mice fed a that were fed the nutrient-enriched diet during early life. When all mice were adults, they were fed the same for the remainder of their lives.

Researchers then used operant behavior chambers (chambers in which a mouse must nose-poke into a hole to get a reward) to examine learning and motivation. They found that the female offspring who were fed the nutrient-enriched diet during early life learned faster and were more motivated to obtain the sugar reward.

Furthermore, the nutrient supplementation also reversed some of the deficits observed due to high-fat feeding during pregnancy.


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More information: Sarah E. McKee et al, Methyl donor supplementation alters cognitive performance and motivation in female offspring from high-fat diet-fed dams, The FASEB Journal (2017). DOI: 10.1096/fj.201601172R
Journal information: FASEB Journal

Citation: Effects of a poor diet during pregnancy may be reversed in female adolescent offspring (2017, February 24) retrieved 27 January 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-02-effects-poor-diet-pregnancy-reversed.html
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