scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Sunday, July 03, 2022

High-fibre diet may promote healthy pregnancy, says study

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that in humans, reduced levels of acetate, which is mainly produced by fibre fermentation in the gut, is associated with the common and serious pregnancy-related condition preeclampsia.

By: PTI | Melbourne |
July 12, 2019 9:17:00 am
pregnancy, pregnant woman, high-fibre diet in pregnancy, indian express Foetuses in preeclamptic pregnancies were found to have a much smaller thymus than children from healthy pregnancies. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Consuming a healthy diet rich in fibre during pregnancy may promote the well-being of both the mother and child, and reduce the risk of preeclampsia, according to a study.

Plant-based fibre is broken down in the gut by bacteria into factors that influence the immune system, said researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia.

The researchers investigated the role of these metabolic products of gut bacteria during pregnancy.

They noted the simple recommendation to ‘eat real food, mostly plants, and not too much’ might be the most effective primary prevention strategy for some of the most serious conditions of our time.

Best of Express Premium
Get inspired: Why did Sardar Patel say that civil servants must not take ...Premium
NITI Aayog-commissioned report which studied 3 orders by Supreme Court, 2...Premium
Inside Track: Amit Shah’s strategy for Maharashtra and FadnavisPremium
Tavleen Singh writes: Islamism has no place in IndiaPremium

“The mother’s gut bacteria and diet appear to be crucial to promoting a healthy pregnancy,” said Professor Ralph Nanan, from the University of Sydney.

ALSO READ: Post-term pregnancy: Know about the causes, risks and treatment

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that in humans, reduced levels of acetate, which is mainly produced by fibre fermentation in the gut, is associated with the common and serious pregnancy-related condition preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia occurs in up to 10 per cent of pregnancies and is characterised by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe swelling in the mother.

It also interferes with the child’s immune development whilst in the womb, with some evidence suggesting a link to higher rates of allergies and autoimmune disease later in life.

The study found that preeclampsia affected the development of an important foetal immune organ, the thymus, which sits just behind the breastbone.

Foetuses in preeclamptic pregnancies were found to have a much smaller thymus than children from healthy pregnancies.

The cells the thymus normally generates, called T cells (thymus-derived cells) — specifically those associated with the prevention of allergies and autoimmune conditions such as diabetes — also remained lower in infants after preeclampsia, even four years after delivery.

ALSO READ: Keep fit during pregnancy with these safe and easy exercises

The mechanisms of acetate on the developing foetal immune system were further examined in separate experiments involving mice that showed acetate was central in driving fetal thymus and T cell development.

These results showed that promoting specific metabolic products of gut bacteria during pregnancy might be an effective way to maintain a healthy pregnancy and to prevent allergies and autoimmune conditions later in life.

They may also, in part, explain the rapid increase of allergies and autoimmune conditions as Western diets are increasingly dominated by highly processed foods, which are very low in fibre, researchers said.

UPSC KEY Have you seen our section dedicated to helping USPC aspirants decode daily news in the context of their exams?

📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement