Obesity in pregnancy may have a lifetime impact on children

Obesity in pregnancy increases inflammatory markers in amniotic fluid and may have a lifetime impact on children. Another example showing that it isn’t the genes but the behaviour that is passed along in families in the pattern of obesity. This is another reason why we are seeing more families with obesity and chronic illnesses and if you are thinking of starting a family get yourself in the best possible shape first so you are not exposing your children to inflammation before they are even born.

In this recent article published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology, scientists in Cadiz, Spain conducted a study ”To estimate the relationship between different adipokines and proinflammatory mediators in amniotic fluid and maternal body mass index (BMI), calculated as weight (kg)/height (m)(2).

Seventy pregnant women who underwent amniocentesis for clinical reasons at 15-20 weeks of gestation were divided into two groups according to their BMI: a control group with normal weight (BMI 20-24.9, n=35) and a case group (BMI 25 or higher, n=35).”

“The two groups were further divided into two subgroups: overweight (BMI 25-29.9, n=22) or obese (BMI 30 or more, n=13). Comparisons of amniotic fluid cytokines (tumour necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha, interleukin [IL]-8, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, resistin, and leptin) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were performed. The relationships between variables and maternal BMI were also analysed. There were significant differences in amniotic fluid CRP and TNF-alpha levels among the studied groups: CRP, 0.018 (+/- 0.010), 0.019 (+/- 0.013), and 0.035 (+/- 0.028) mg/dL (P=.007); and TNF-alpha, 3.98 (+/- 1.63), 3.53 (+/- 1.38), and 5.46 (+/- 1.69) pg/mL (P=.003), for lean, overweight, and obese women, respectively.

Both pro-inflammatory mediators increased in women with obesity compared with both overweight and normal women (P=.01 and P=.008 for CRP; P=.003 and P=.01 for TNF-a!, respectively). There were significant correlations between maternal BMI and amniotic fluid CRP (r=0.396; P=.001), TNF-alpha (r=0.357; P=.003) and resistin (r=0.353; P=.003),” wrote F. Bugatto and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: “Amniotic fluid CRP and TNF-alpha levels are increased in obese women, and both are related to maternal BMI, which Suggests in-utero exposure to higher pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators in foetuses of these women. (Obstet Gynecol 2010;115:127-33).”
Bugatto and colleagues published their study in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Second-Trimester Amniotic Fluid Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Levels in Normal and Overweight Women. Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2010;115(1):127-133).

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen

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