Madrid / The diet of women in pregnancy influences the microbiota and the development of the baby during the first months of life, according to a study led by researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) published by Gut Microbes.
Researchers from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC) have identified different types of maternal microbiota associated with diet during pregnancy and relate them to the microbiota of newborns and their growth throughout the first 18 months of lifetime.
Experts note that fiber, plant protein, and omega-3 acids “have a significant effect” on the baby’s microbiome and “contribute to infant development,” according to a CSIC statement.
The maternal microbiota is the set of bacteria that the mother transfers to her child during pregnancy and lactation, and that provide it with protection against infectious diseases.
Nutrition during pregnancy is important for the health of the mother and the baby, but not much is yet known about the impact that different components of the diet can have on the microbiota of the woman and what their impact on that of the neonate and in their short and long-term health.
Conducting the study
The study involved 86 mothers with their babies from birth to 18 months of life for the boys and girls, the statement added.
The experts analyzed fecal samples from the mothers and babies at the time of delivery to obtain the different profiles in the intestinal microbiota.
Subsequently, data on the diet during pregnancy were collected and a clinical and anthropometric follow-up was carried out during the first 18 months of life, explains María Carmen Collado, researcher at the IATA-CSIC.
The maternal microbiota was arranged in two groups associated with specific dietary intakes during pregnancy, such as fiber, plant protein, omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols.
Differences in the microbiota according to diet
Differences were observed in the neonatal microbiota as a function of diet and maternal microbiota, and these differences also had an effect on infant growth.
The team monitored babies in the different groups for 18 months following the guidelines established by the World Health Organization for longitudinal body mass index and weight for length.
In addition, they observed the differences that occurred, showing that “diet plays a very important role” in early life, which can affect the maternal microbiota.
In particular, “fiber, vegetable protein and omega-3 acids have a significant effect on the baby’s microbiome and contribute to infant development during the first months of life, as well as to the child’s health,” concludes Collado. (May 21, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)