Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 
Category: Pediatrics | Research | Rheumatology | Obstetrics | Medical Students | News

Back to Health News

Pregnant Mothers’ Gut Changes May Support Fetal Growth

Last Updated: August 02, 2012.

 

Women's gut microbes become less 'normal' and less diverse as pregnancy progresses, study shows

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Women's gut microbes become less 'normal' and less diverse as pregnancy progresses, study shows.

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Changes to the composition of gut microbes that would normally cause health problems such as weight gain and inflammation may actually be beneficial to expectant mothers, according to researchers.

In conducting the study, published in the Aug. 3 issue of the journal Cell, the researchers examined stool samples taken from 91 pregnant women. They found that the composition of the women's gut microbes changed over time, from the first trimester of their pregnancy to the third trimester.

"This is the first in-depth characterization of the gut microbiota associated with pregnancy," the study's senior author, Ruth Ley, of Cornell University, said in a journal news release. "The findings suggest that our bodies have coevolved with the microbiota and may actually be using them as a tool -- to help alter the mother's metabolism to support the growth of the fetus."

Over the course of their pregnancy, the women's gut microbes became less "normal" and less diverse. The investigators also found that the number of beneficial bacteria declined as levels of disease-related bacteria increased. There also was evidence that inflammation increased during the women's pregnancies.

"The changes in gut microbes were not related to diet, so we think the immune system or hormones play a role," Ley noted.

The researchers then transferred the gut microbes of the pregnant women to healthy mice. They found the mice that received microbes from the third trimester got fatter and had higher levels of inflammation markers and worse blood sugar metabolism than mice that received first-trimester microbes.

"By the third trimester, the microbiota can induce changes in metabolism," Ley said. "In the context of pregnancy, these metabolic changes in the mother are healthy, because they promote energy storage in fat tissue and help support the fetus. Outside of pregnancy, however, these changes can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and other health problems."

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about body changes during pregnancy.

SOURCE: Cell, news release, Aug. 2, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Previous: Why Women Outlive Men: Fruit Flies Give Clues Next: Most Americans With Celiac Disease Don't Realize It: Study

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.