Special Issue "Perinatal Nutrition"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Astrid Hogenkamp
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, PO Box 80082, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Interests: immune programming; allergy; nutrition; microbiome; gut; neurocognitive development; placenta

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The effect of early-life nutrition on later health is the result of a complex interplay between multiple factors, including environmental triggers, genetics, and maternal–fetal interaction. Dietary exposures during (pre-)pregnancy and early postnatal life can affect the risk of infection and development non-communicable diseases such as allergies and neurocognitive disorders. In recent decades, our understanding of the effects of nutritional components on health trajectories throughout life has substantially increased, although many details relating to underlying mechanisms and efficacy still need to be clarified. This Special Issue on “Perinatal Nutrition” aims to: 1) increase current knowledge on the long-term impact of early-life nutrition; 2) gather new mechanistic insights on programming effects of dietary interventions; and 3) evaluate the effects of novel dietary intervention strategies on future health and disease, in particular non-communicable diseases. Submissions may include original research, narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses regarding the impact of nutrition in (pre-)pregnancy and early childhood on the development of future health.

Dr. Astrid Hogenkamp
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • preconception nutrition
  • pregnancy nutrition
  • postnatal nutrition
  • maternal diet
  • pre/probiotics
  • breast milk
  • fetal growth
  • child growth
  • allergy
  • atopy
  • microbiome
  • gut–brain–immune axis
  • brain
  • behavior
  • cognition

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Decreased Histone Acetylation Levels at Th1 and Regulatory Loci after Induction of Food Allergy
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3193; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103193 - 19 Oct 2020
Abstract
Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergy against cow’s milk protein fractions such as whey is one of the most common food-related allergic disorders of early childhood. Histone acetylation is an important epigenetic mechanism, shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of allergies. However, its role [...] Read more.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergy against cow’s milk protein fractions such as whey is one of the most common food-related allergic disorders of early childhood. Histone acetylation is an important epigenetic mechanism, shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of allergies. However, its role in food allergy remains unknown. IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy was successfully induced in a mouse model, as demonstrated by acute allergic symptoms, whey-specific IgE in serum, and the activation of mast cells upon a challenge with whey protein. The elicited allergic response coincided with reduced percentages of regulatory T (Treg) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells, matching decreased levels of H3 and/or H4 histone acetylation at pivotal Treg and Th17 loci, an epigenetic status favoring lower gene expression. In addition, histone acetylation levels at the crucial T helper 1 (Th1) loci were decreased, most probably preceding the expected reduction in Th1 cells after inducing an allergic response. No changes were observed for T helper 2 cells. However, increased histone acetylation levels, promoting gene expression, were observed at the signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (Stat6) gene, a proallergic B cell locus, which was in line with the presence of whey-specific IgE. In conclusion, the observed histone acetylation changes are pathobiologically in line with the successful induction of cow’s milk allergy, to which they might have also contributed mechanistically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perinatal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Offspring Birth Weight Is Associated with Specific Preconception Maternal Food Group Intake: Data from a Linked Population-Based Birth Cohort
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3172; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103172 - 16 Oct 2020
Abstract
The preconception period has been recognized as one of the earliest sensitive windows for human development. Maternal dietary intake during this period may influence the oocyte quality, as well as placenta and early embryonic development during the first trimester of pregnancy. Previous studies [...] Read more.
The preconception period has been recognized as one of the earliest sensitive windows for human development. Maternal dietary intake during this period may influence the oocyte quality, as well as placenta and early embryonic development during the first trimester of pregnancy. Previous studies have found associations between macronutrient intake during preconception and pregnancy outcomes. However, as food products consist of multiple macro- and micronutrients, it is difficult to relate this to dietary intake behavior. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between intake of specific food groups during the preconception period with birth weight, using data from the Perined-Lifelines linked birth cohort. The Perined-Lifelines birth cohort consists of women who delivered a live-born infant at term after being enrolled in a large population-based cohort study (The Lifelines Cohort). Information on birth outcome was obtained by linkage to the Dutch perinatal registry (Perined). In total, we included 1698 women with data available on birth weight of the offspring and reliable detailed information on dietary intake using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire obtained before pregnancy. Based on the 2015 Dutch Dietary Guidelines and recent literature 22 food groups were formulated. Birth weight was converted into gestational age-adjusted z-scores. Multivariable linear regression was performed, adjusted for intake of other food groups and covariates (maternal BMI, maternal age, smoking, alcohol, education level, urbanization level, parity, sex of newborn, ethnicity). Linear regression analysis, adjusted for covariates and intake of energy (in kcal) (adjusted z score [95% CI], P) showed that intake of food groups “artificially sweetened products” and “vegetables” was associated with increased birth weight (resp. (β = 0.001 [95% CI 0.000 to 0.001, p = 0.002]), (β = 0.002 [95% CI 0.000 to 0.003, p = 0.03])). Intake of food group “eggs” was associated with decreased birth weight (β = −0.093 [95% CI −0.174 to −0.013, p = 0.02]). Intake in food groups was expressed in 10 g per 1000 kcal to be able to draw conclusions on clinical relevance given the bigger portion size of the food groups. In particular, preconception intake of “artificially sweetened products” was shown to be associated with increased birth weight. Artificial sweeteners were introduced into our diets with the intention to reduce caloric intake and normalize blood glucose levels, without compromising on the preference for sweet food products. Our findings highlight the need to better understand how artificial sweeteners may affect the metabolism of the mother and her offspring already from preconception onwards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perinatal Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Maternal High-Fat–High-Carbohydrate Diet-Induced Obesity Is Associated with Increased Appetite in Peripubertal Male but Not Female C57Bl/6J Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 2919; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102919 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
Diet-induced maternal obesity might play a critical role in altering hypothalamic development, predisposing the offspring to obesity and metabolic disease later in life. The objective of this study was to describe both phenotypic and molecular sex differences in peripubertal offspring energy homeostasis, using [...] Read more.
Diet-induced maternal obesity might play a critical role in altering hypothalamic development, predisposing the offspring to obesity and metabolic disease later in life. The objective of this study was to describe both phenotypic and molecular sex differences in peripubertal offspring energy homeostasis, using a mouse model of maternal obesity induced by a high-fat–high-carbohydrate (HFHC) diet. We report that males, not females, exposed to a maternal HFHC diet had increased energy intake. Males exposed to a maternal HFHC diet had a 15% increased meal size and a 46% increased frequency, compared to the control (CON) males, without a change in energy expenditure. CON and HFHC offspring did not differ in body weight, composition, or plasma metabolic profile. HFHC diet caused decreased hypothalamic glucocorticoid expression, which was further decreased in males compared to females. Maternal weight, maternal caloric intake, and male offspring meal frequency were inversely correlated with offspring hypothalamic insulin receptor (IR) expression. There was a significant interaction between maternal-diet exposure and sex in hypothalamic IR. Based on our preclinical data, we suggest that interventions focusing on normalizing maternal nutrition might be considered to attenuate nutritional influences on obesity programming and curb the continuing rise in obesity rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perinatal Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Dietary Proteins Selectively Affect Intestinal Health In Vitro after Clostridium difficile-Secreted Toxin A Exposure
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2782; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092782 - 11 Sep 2020
Abstract
Bacterial gastroenteritis forms a burden on a global scale, both socially and economically. The Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium difficile is an inducer of gastrointestinal bacterial infections, often triggered following disruption of the microbiota by broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat other conditions. The clinical manifestatiaons, e.g., [...] Read more.
Bacterial gastroenteritis forms a burden on a global scale, both socially and economically. The Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium difficile is an inducer of gastrointestinal bacterial infections, often triggered following disruption of the microbiota by broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat other conditions. The clinical manifestatiaons, e.g., diarrhea, are driven by its toxins secretion, toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB). Current therapies are focused on discontinuing patient medication, including antibiotics. However, relapse rates upon therapy are high (20–25%). Here, eighteen dietary proteins were evaluated for their capacity to restore gut health upon C. difficile-derived TcdA exposure. We used bioengineered intestinal tubules to assess proteins for their beneficial effects by examining the epithelial barrier, cell viability, brush-border enzyme activity, IL-6 secretion, IL-8 secretion and nitric oxide (NO) levels upon TcdA challenge. TcdA effectively disrupted the epithelial barrier, increased mitochondrial activity, but did not affect alkaline phosphatase activity, IL-6, IL-8 and NO levels. Intervention with dietary proteins did not show a protective effect on epithelial barrier integrity or mitochondrial activity. However, bovine plasma and potato protein increased alkaline phosphatase activity, egg-white protein increased IL-6 and IL-8 release and wheat, lesser mealworm and yeast protein increased NO levels after TcdA exposure. Hence, dietary proteins can influence parameters involved in intestinal physiology and immune activation suggesting that supplementation with specific dietary proteins may be of benefit during C. difficile infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perinatal Nutrition)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Prenatal Amino Acid Supplementation to Improve Fetal Growth: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2535; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092535 - 21 Aug 2020
Abstract
Aberrant fetal growth remains a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality and is associated with a risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis combining human and animal studies to assess whether prenatal amino acid [...] Read more.
Aberrant fetal growth remains a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality and is associated with a risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis combining human and animal studies to assess whether prenatal amino acid (AA) supplementation could be a promising approach to promote healthy fetal growth. PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane libraries were searched to identify studies orally supplementing the following AA groups during gestation: (1) arginine family, (2) branched chain (BCAA), and (3) methyl donors. The primary outcome was fetal/birth weight. Twenty-two human and 89 animal studies were included in the systematic review. The arginine family and, especially, arginine itself were studied the most. Our meta-analysis showed beneficial effects of arginine and (N-Carbamyl) glutamate (NCG) but not aspartic acid and citrulline on fetal/birth weight. However, no effects were reported when an isonitrogenous control diet was included. BCAA and methyl donor supplementation did not affect fetal/birth weight. Arginine family supplementation, in particular arginine and NCG, improves fetal growth in complicated pregnancies. BCAA and methyl donor supplementation do not seem to be as promising in targeting fetal growth. Well-controlled research in complicated pregnancies is needed before ruling out AA supplements or preferring arginine above other AAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perinatal Nutrition)
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