The Role of Mediterranean Diet during Pregnancy on Maternal and Offspring Health

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 April 2024 | Viewed by 4971

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. BCNatal | Fetal Medicine Research Center (Hospital Clínic and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu), Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Deu (IRSJD), University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2. Primary Care Interventions to Prevent Maternal and Child Chronic Diseases of Perinatal and Development Origin, RD21/0012/0001, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: pregnancy; fetal life; fetal programming; placental diseases; preeclampsia; intrauterine growth restriction; maternal lifestyle
1. Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
2. Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de la Obesidad y la Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Interests: clinical nutrition; control and prevention; supplementation; chronic disease; dietary patterns; ultra-processed food consumption patterns; balanced diet; cardiometabolic risk; immune system; gut-associated microbiome
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Pregnancy is a unique period of a woman’s life with several important changes, not only for the woman herself, but also for her fetus and future child. During pregnancy, the fetus is exposed to environmental factors through the mother. In particular, nutrition and the health status of the mother play an important role in this process, which is called “fetal programming”. Indeed, what happens during prenatal life can influence the health status of the individual during childhood and adulthood. The Mediterranean diet is a healthy dietary pattern that has been associated with several disease preventions. Its potential role during gestation for mothers and offspring outcome has increased in the last few years. Understanding the effectiveness of interventions during pregnancy based on this diet and its related mechanisms is essential for the health status of both the mother and offspring. 

This Special Issue will focus on “The Role of Mediterranean Diet during Pregnancy on Maternal and Offspring Health”, pertaining to the strategies and mechanisms of the Mediterranean diet that could be useful for preventing disorders in mothers and offspring and improving their health. In addition to one or two systematic literature reviews, we are interested in original research that focuses on theory-based novel interventions that utilize quasi-experimental or experimental designs. 

Dr. Francesca Crovetto
Dr. Rosa Casas
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • pregnancy
  • Mediterranean diet
  • maternal lifestyle
  • fetal programming
  • prenatal interventions

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Maternal Seafood Consumption during Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Health of Children at 11 Years of Age
by Ariadna Pinar-Martí, Sílvia Fernández-Barrés, Iolanda Lázaro, Serena Fossati, Silvia Fochs, Núria Pey, Martine Vrijheid, Dora Romaguera, Aleix Sala-Vila and Jordi Julvez
Nutrients 2024, 16(7), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16070974 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Nutrition is critical during pregnancy for the healthy growth of the developing infant, who is fully dependent on maternal dietary omega-3 supply for development. Fatty fish, a main dietary source of omega-3, is associated with decreased cardiovascular risk in adults. We conducted a [...] Read more.
Nutrition is critical during pregnancy for the healthy growth of the developing infant, who is fully dependent on maternal dietary omega-3 supply for development. Fatty fish, a main dietary source of omega-3, is associated with decreased cardiovascular risk in adults. We conducted a longitudinal study based on a mother–offspring cohort as part of the project Infancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) in order to assess whether fish intake during pregnancy relates to cardiovascular health in children. A total of 657 women were included and followed throughout pregnancy until birth, and their children were enrolled at birth and followed up until age 11–12. A semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess the daily intake of foods during the 1st and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. Cardiovascular assessments included arterial stiffness (assessed by carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity [PWV]) and retinal microcirculation (photographic assessment of central retinal arteriolar and venular equivalent [CRAE and CRVE]). The association between maternal fish consumption and cardiovascular outcomes of offspring at 11 years of age was evaluated using multivariable linear regression models. There were no statistically significant differences in any cardiovascular endpoint in children whose mothers had a higher fish consumption during pregnancy compared to those with a lower fish consumption. We found a slightly higher PWV (β = 0.1, 95% CI = 0.0; 0.2, p for trend = 0.047) in children whose mothers had a higher consumption of canned tuna during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. Fish intake during pregnancy was found to be unrelated to the offspring’s cardiovascular health at 11 years of age. The beneficial cardiovascular effects of fish consumption during pregnancy on the offspring are still inconclusive. Full article
11 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Health-Related Quality of Life during Pregnancy: Is the Mediterranean Diet Beneficial in Non-Mediterranean Countries?
by Marta Flor-Alemany, Johanna Sandborg, Jairo H. Migueles, Emmie Söderström, Maria Henström, Nuria Marín-Jiménez, Laura Baena-García, Virginia A. Aparicio and Marie Löf
Nutrients 2024, 16(5), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16050718 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 837
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the association of Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence and MD components with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in pregnant women from Spain and Sweden. A total of 138 pregnant women from Spain (age: 32.9 ± 4.6 years old) and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the association of Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence and MD components with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in pregnant women from Spain and Sweden. A total of 138 pregnant women from Spain (age: 32.9 ± 4.6 years old) and 302 pregnant women from Sweden (age: 31.3 ± 4.1 years old) were included. MD adherence was assessed with the Mediterranean food pattern (i.e., a MD index) at the 14–16th gestational weeks. HRQoL was assessed with the Spanish and Swedish versions of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36 and RAND-36, respectively) at the 14–16th and 34–37th gestational weeks. A greater MD adherence was associated with better physical functioning, bodily pain, vitality, emotional role, and mental health in cross-sectional associations (2nd trimester) in the Spanish sample (all p < 0.05). Furthermore, a greater MD adherence was associated with lower bodily pain in both Spanish and Swedish samples (both p < 0.05) in the 3rd trimester. The associations of MD adherence with pain seem to be explained by a greater intake of fiber, fish, fruits, nuts, and legumes (all p < 0.05). A greater MD adherence, driven by a higher intake of fiber, fish, fruits, nuts, and legumes, was associated with lower pain throughout pregnancy in both Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean populations. Full article
12 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Associations between Maternal Nutritional Status, Hemodynamic Parameters, and Delivery Outcomes in Low-Risk Pregnancies: A Prospective Observational Study
by Chiara Lubrano, Francesca Parisi, Chiara Coco, Elisabetta Marelli, Eleonora Burello and Irene Cetin
Nutrients 2024, 16(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16020183 - 05 Jan 2024
Viewed by 849
Abstract
Maternal nutritional status represents a pivotal predictor of pregnancy outcome. This prospective observational study investigates the associations between maternal characteristics and nutritional habits at term, hemodynamic parameters, and pregnancy outcomes. Healthy women with singleton uncomplicated pregnancies were enrolled at 36–41 gestational weeks. At [...] Read more.
Maternal nutritional status represents a pivotal predictor of pregnancy outcome. This prospective observational study investigates the associations between maternal characteristics and nutritional habits at term, hemodynamic parameters, and pregnancy outcomes. Healthy women with singleton uncomplicated pregnancies were enrolled at 36–41 gestational weeks. At enrollment, a nutritional score (0–10) was calculated in order to quantify maternal adherence to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Maternal hemodynamic parameters were assessed by using the Ultrasonic Cardiac Output Monitor (USCOM), including cardiac output (CO), systemic vascular resistance (SVR) and Smith–Madigan inotropy index (SMII). Pregnancy outcomes were recorded at delivery. Associations between maternal characteristics and nutritional score, hemodynamic parameters, and pregnancy outcomes were investigated by using multi-adjusted generalized linear models. In total, 143 pregnancies were enrolled. Pregestational body mass index (BMI) was positively associated with SVR, and negatively associated with CO and SMII. Additionally, a positive association was detected between the nutritional score and SMII. Finally, CO was positively associated with birth and placental weight, while RVS showed a negative association with birth and placental weight. This study shows that maternal derangements in nutritional status and habits are associated with a compromised hemodynamic profile at term, with additional impacts on intrauterine growth. Full article
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15 pages, 1742 KiB  
Article
Impact of Maternal Mediterranean-Type Diet Adherence on Microbiota Composition and Epigenetic Programming of Offspring
by Tamlyn Sasaki, Megan Kawamura, Chirstyn Okuno, Kayleen Lau, Jonathan Riel, Men-Jean Lee and Corrie Miller
Nutrients 2024, 16(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16010047 - 22 Dec 2023
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Abstract
Understanding how maternal diet affects in utero neonatal gut microbiota and epigenetic regulation may provide insight into disease origins and long-term health. The impact of Mediterranean diet pattern adherence (MDA) on fetal gut microbiome and epigenetic regulation was assessed in 33 pregnant women. [...] Read more.
Understanding how maternal diet affects in utero neonatal gut microbiota and epigenetic regulation may provide insight into disease origins and long-term health. The impact of Mediterranean diet pattern adherence (MDA) on fetal gut microbiome and epigenetic regulation was assessed in 33 pregnant women. Participants completed a validated food frequency questionnaire in each trimester of pregnancy; the alternate Mediterranean diet (aMED) score was applied. Umbilical cord blood, placental tissue, and neonatal meconium were collected from offspring. DNA methylation patterns were probed using the Illumnia EPICarray Methylation Chip in parturients with high versus low MDA. Meconium microbial abundance in the first 24 h after birth was identified using 16s rRNA sequencing and compared among neonates born to mothers with high and low aMED scores. Twenty-one mothers were classified as low MDA and 12 as high MDA. Pasteurellaceae and Bacteroidaceae trended towards greater abundance in the high-MDA group, as well as other short-chain fatty acid-producing species. Several differentially methylated regions varied between groups and overlapped gene regions including NCK2, SNED1, MTERF4, TNXB, HLA-DPB, BAG6, and LMO3. We identified a beneficial effect of adherence to a Mediterranean diet on fetal in utero development. This highlights the importance of dietary counseling for mothers and can be used as a guide for future studies of meconium and immuno-epigenetic modulation. Full article
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14 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Modifiable Risk Factors and Trends in Changes in Glucose Regulation during the First Three Years Postdelivery: The St Carlos Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Prevention Cohort
by Maria Arnoriaga-Rodriguez, Verónica Melero, Ana Barabash, Johanna Valerio, Laura del Valle, Rocio Martin O’Connor, Paz de Miguel, José A. Diaz, Cristina Familiar, Inmaculada Moraga, Alejandra Duran, Inés Jimenez, Martín Cuesta, María José Torrejon, Mercedes Martinez-Novillo, Isabelle Runkle, Mario Pazos, Miguel A. Rubio, Pilar Matia-Martín and Alfonso L. Calle-Pascual
Nutrients 2023, 15(23), 4995; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15234995 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 937
Abstract
Objective: Evaluation of the influence of potential risk factors (RFs) on glycemic changes at 3 years postpartum. Methods: The glycemic status of 1400 women, in absence of a new pregnancy, was evaluated at 3 months (3 m) and 3 years (3 y) postpartum, [...] Read more.
Objective: Evaluation of the influence of potential risk factors (RFs) on glycemic changes at 3 years postpartum. Methods: The glycemic status of 1400 women, in absence of a new pregnancy, was evaluated at 3 months (3 m) and 3 years (3 y) postpartum, after participation in the St. Carlos Gestational Study (2228 normoglycemic pregnant women followed from before gestational week 12 to delivery, from 2015–2017). Abnormal glucose regulation (AGR) was defined as fasting serum glucose ≥ 100 mg/dL and/or HbA1c ≥ 5.7% and/or 2 h 75 g OGTT glucose ≥ 140 mg/dL. In total, 12 modifiable and 3 unmodifiable RFs were analyzed. Results: 3 m postpartum, 110/1400 (7.9%) women had AGR; 3 y postpartum, 137 (9.8%) women exhibited AGR (110 with 3 m normal glucose tolerance [NGT]); 1263 (90.2%) had NGT (83 with 3 m AGR). More women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) progressed to AGR at 3 y (OR: 1.60 [1.33–1.92]) than women without GDM. Yet, most women with 3 m and/or 3 y AGR had no GDM history. Having ≥2 unmodifiable RFs was associated with increased risk for progression to AGR (OR: 1.90 [1.28–2.83]) at 3 y postpartum. Having >5/12 modifiable RFs was associated with increased progression from NGT to AGR (OR: 1.40 [1.00–2.09]) and AGR persistence (OR: 2.57 [1.05–6.31]). Pregestational BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 (OR: 0.59 [0.41–0.85]), postdelivery weight gain (OR: 0.53 [0.29–0.94]), and waist circumference > 89.5 cm (OR: 0.54 [0.36–0.79]) reduced the likelihood of NGT persisting at 3 y. Conclusions: 3-month and/or 3-year postpartum AGR can be detected if sought in women with no prior GDM. Modifiable and unmodifiable RF predictors of AGR at 3 y postpartum were identified. Universal screening for glycemic alterations should be considered in all women following delivery, regardless of prior GDM. These findings could be useful to design personalized strategies in women with risk factors for 3 y AGR. Full article
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