Gut Changes In Pregnant Women May Support Fetal Development


Being pregnant apparently has a profound effect on a woman's gut microbiota.

So profound in fact that under other circumstances—meaning were she not pregnant—the change would be associated with metabolic syndrome (such as weight gain, glucose metabolism issues and inflammation). However, not only is the change not problematic to her health, it appears to be beneficial, both for mom and child.

Writing in the journal Cell researchers from Cornell University found that there is a distinct change in the microbial gut make-up of pregnant women between the first and third trimesters. They speculated that the change may have something to do with helping the mother's body metabolism so that it is in a supportive role for the fetus.

They also determined that factors such as diet, antibiotic use, gestational diabetes, or pre-pregnancy BMI had no influence over the change, which leads them to speculate that either the immune system or something hormonal is behind the change.

"In the context of pregnancy, these metabolic changes in the mother are healthy," wrote the researchers, "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."

Source: MedPage Today


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