Special Issue "From Mother to Child Health Flow: The Impact of Dietary Habits and Food Choices"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition Methodology & Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alessandro Leone
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy; International Center for the Assessment of Nutritional Status (ICANS), University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: food consumption; dietary pattern; Mediterranean diet; body composition; obesity; metabolic syndrome; eating behaviour; nutritional epidemiology; plant-based foods
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The incidence of obesity and chronic disease is constantly increasing. Among the involved factors, there is evidence that exposure to an unfavourable environment in utero is associated with a significant increase of birth negative outcomes and the risk of later disease. Factors that adversely affect the gestational environment such as maternal diseases, nutrition, and exposure to food contaminants can alter fetal development, with persistent effects on health. This Special Issue aims to collect new insights from animal models and human studies about the impact of dietary habits and food choices of mothers on maternal health, birth outcomes, and long-term child health status.

Dr. Alessandro Leone
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Dietary pattern
  • Food consumption
  • Food contaminants
  • Child health
  • Birth outcomes
  • Pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Maternal health

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Maternal Dietary Exposure to Low-Dose Bisphenol A Affects Metabolic and Signaling Pathways in the Brain of Rat Fetuses
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051448 - 17 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound widely used for the production of polycarbonate plasticware and epoxy resins. BPA exposure is widespread and more than 90% of individuals have detectable amounts of the molecule in their body fluids, which originates primarily from diet. [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound widely used for the production of polycarbonate plasticware and epoxy resins. BPA exposure is widespread and more than 90% of individuals have detectable amounts of the molecule in their body fluids, which originates primarily from diet. Here, we investigated whether prenatal exposure to BPA affects the mevalonate (MVA) pathway in rat brain fetuses, and whether potential effects are sex-dependent. The MVA pathway is important for brain development and function. Our results demonstrate that the fetal brain, exposed in utero to a very low dose of BPA (2.5 µg/kg/day), displayed altered MVA pathway activation, increased protein prenylation, and a decreased level of pro-BDNF. Interestingly, the BPA-induced effects on estrogen receptor α were sex-dependent. In conclusion, this work demonstrates intergenerational effects of BPA on the brain at very low doses. Our results reveal new targets for BPA-induced interference and underline the impacts of BPA on health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prenatal Nutrition Containing Bisphenol A Affects Placenta Glucose Transfer: Evidence in Rats and Human Trophoblast
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1375; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051375 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 819
Abstract
This work aims to clarify the effect of dietary supplementation with Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely present in beverage and food containers, on placental glucose transfer and pregnancy outcome. The study was performed on female Sprague Dawley rats fed with a diet [...] Read more.
This work aims to clarify the effect of dietary supplementation with Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely present in beverage and food containers, on placental glucose transfer and pregnancy outcome. The study was performed on female Sprague Dawley rats fed with a diet containing BPA (2.5, 25 or 250 μg/Kg/day) for a period of a month (virgin state) plus 20 days during pregnancy. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry were performed in placental tissues for glucose type 1 transporter (GLUT1). Furthermore, human trophoblast, HTR8-SV/neo cells, were used to evaluate the effect of BPA on glucose transport and uptake. Studies in rats showed that food supplementation with BPA, produces a higher fetal weight (FW) to placenta weight (PW) ratio at the lowest BPA concentration. Such low concentrations also reduced maternal weight gain in late pregnancy and up-regulated placental expression of GLUT1. Treatment of HTR8-SV/neo with the non-toxic dose of 1 nM BPA confirmed up-regulation of GLUT1 expression and revealed higher activity of the transporter with an increase in glucose uptake and GLUT1 membrane translocation. Overall, these results indicate that prenatal exposure to BPA affects pregnancy and fetal growth producing changes in the placental nutrients-glucose transfer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Protein Intake during Pregnancy Is Not Associated with Offspring Insulin Sensitivity during the First Two Years of Life
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051338 - 08 May 2020
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Literature describing a relationship between dietary protein intake during pregnancy and offspring insulin resistance are equivocal perhaps because of the lapse between maternal and offspring measurements (~9–40 years). Thus, we evaluated protein intake in healthy women [n = 182, mean ± SD; [...] Read more.
Literature describing a relationship between dietary protein intake during pregnancy and offspring insulin resistance are equivocal perhaps because of the lapse between maternal and offspring measurements (~9–40 years). Thus, we evaluated protein intake in healthy women [n = 182, mean ± SD; body mass index (BMI): 26.2 ± 4.2 kg/m2] in early pregnancy (8.4 ± 1.6 weeks, EP), late pregnancy (30.1 ± 0.4 weeks, LP), and averaged throughout pregnancy, and determined the relationship between protein intake and offspring homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR) at 12 (12mo) and 24 (24mo) months. EP protein (g·kg−1·day−1) did not associate with HOMA2-IR at 12mo (β = 0.153, p = 0.429) or 24mo (β = −0.349, p = 0.098). LP protein did not associate with HOMA2-IR at 12mo (β = 0.023, p = 0.916) or 24mo (β = −0.442, p = 0.085). Finally, average protein did not associate with HOMA2-IR at 12mo (β = 0.711, p = 0.05) or 24mo (β = −0.445, p = 0.294). Results remained unchanged after adjusting for plant protein intake quartiles during pregnancy, maternal BMI, and offspring sex and body fat percentage. Additionally, these relationships did not change after quartile analysis of average protein intake, even after considering offspring fasting time and HOMA2-IR outliers, and maternal under-reporters of energy intake. Protein intake during pregnancy is not associated with indirect measurements of insulin sensitivity in offspring during the first two years of life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Maternal Caffeine Intake Disrupts Eggshell Integrity and Retards Larval Development by Reducing Yolk Production in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051334 - 07 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 791
Abstract
During pregnancy, most women are exposed to caffeine, which is a widely consumed psychoactive substance. However, the consequences of maternal caffeine intake on the child remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the intergenerational effects of maternal caffeine intake on offspring in a Caenorhabditis [...] Read more.
During pregnancy, most women are exposed to caffeine, which is a widely consumed psychoactive substance. However, the consequences of maternal caffeine intake on the child remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the intergenerational effects of maternal caffeine intake on offspring in a Caenorhabditis elegans model. We treated a young mother (P0) with 10 mM of caffeine equivalent to 2–5 cans of commercial energy drinks and examined its reproduction and growth rate from P0 to F2 generation. The fertility decreased and embryonic lethality increased by defective oocytes and eggshell integrity in caffeine-ingested mothers, and F1 larval development severely retarded. These results were due to decreased production of vitellogenin protein (yolk) in caffeine-ingested mothers. Furthermore, effects of RNA interference of vitellogenin (vit) genes, vit-1 to vit-6, in P0 mothers can mimic those by caffeine-ingested mothers. In addition, RNA interference (RNAi) depletion of unc-62 (human Meis homeobox), a transcriptional activator for vit genes, also showed similar effects induced by caffeine intake. Taken together, maternal caffeine intake reduced yolk production mediated by the UNC-62 transcription factor, thereby disrupting oocyte and eggshell integrity and retarding larval development. Our study suggests the clinical significance of caffeine intake for prospective mothers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Drinking or Smoking While Breastfeeding and Later Academic Outcomes in Children
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030829 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Alcohol consumed by breastfeeding mothers has been associated with reduced grammatical comprehension and cognition in children. This study examined whether drinking or smoking while breastfeeding was associated with reductions in Australian National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy assessments. Data was sourced from The Growing [...] Read more.
Alcohol consumed by breastfeeding mothers has been associated with reduced grammatical comprehension and cognition in children. This study examined whether drinking or smoking while breastfeeding was associated with reductions in Australian National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy assessments. Data was sourced from The Growing Up in Australia Study. This is an ongoing longitudinal study of 5107 infants and mothers recruited in 2004 and followed over time every two years. Multivariable linear regression found that maternal alcohol consumption at study entry was associated with reductions in Grade 3 (age 7–10 years) National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy writing (b = −1.56, 95% CI: −2.52; −0.60, p = 0.01), spelling (b = −2.06, 95% CI: −3.31; −0.81, p < 0.0001) and grammar and punctuation (b = −2.11, 95% CI: −3.59; −0.64, p = 0.01) scores, as well as Grade 5 (age 9–11 years) spelling scores (b = −1.58, 95% CI: −2.74; −0.43, p = 0.03) in children who had been breastfed at any time. This was not evident in babies who had never breastfed, or in the smaller group of infants who were actively breastfeeding at study entry. Smoking was not associated with any outcome variable. Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding may result in dose-dependent reductions in children’s academic abilities. While reductions are small, they may be of clinical significance if mothers drink large quantities. Further analyses are planned to assess developmental, physical and behavioural outcomes in children. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview
Fetal–Maternal Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors: Correlation with Diet Intake and Pregnancy Outcomes
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1744; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061744 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1741
Abstract
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous substances able to mimic or to interfere with the endocrine system, thus altering key biological processes such as organ development, reproduction, immunity, metabolism and behavior. High concentrations of EDCs are found in several everyday products including plastic bottles [...] Read more.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous substances able to mimic or to interfere with the endocrine system, thus altering key biological processes such as organ development, reproduction, immunity, metabolism and behavior. High concentrations of EDCs are found in several everyday products including plastic bottles and food containers and they could be easily absorbed by dietary intake. In recent years, considerable interest has been raised regarding the biological effects of EDCs, particularly Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, on human pregnancy and fetal development. Several evidence obtained on in vitro and animal models as well as by epidemiologic and population studies strongly indicated that endocrine disruptors could negatively impact fetal and placental health by interfering with the embryonic developing epigenome, thus establishing disease paths into adulthood. Moreover, EDCs could cause and/or contribute to the onset of severe gestational conditions as Preeclampsia (PE), Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) and gestational diabetes in pregnancy, as well as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular complications in reproductive age. Therefore, despite contrasting data being present in the literature, endocrine disruptors must be considered as a therapeutic target. Future actions aimed at reducing or eliminating EDC exposure during the perinatal period are mandatory to guarantee pregnancy success and preserve fetal and adult health. Full article
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