Mother’s love of fatty foods can lead to immunodeficiency in the child

(ORDO NEWS) — Although it has long been known that maternal nutrition during pregnancy greatly affects the developing fetus, so far no one has investigated whether the development of the child’s immune system, which determines its future resistance to diseases, depends on malnutrition.

Now, using rhesus monkeys as models, scientists have concluded that the abundance of fat in the mother’s diet suppresses the development of immune cells. Subsequently, this can lead to immunodeficiency in the child.

Obese mothers have an increased risk of infection and inflammatory reactions in the offspring, but the exact mechanisms of the influence of high dietary fat on embryonic development are not yet clear.

In particular, this time scientists are interested in the influence of the so-called Western diet, which provides for an abundance of animal products, fried and salty foods, on the child’s hematopoiesis , that is, the development of blood cells and immunity in him.

In late pregnancy, the child’s bone marrow becomes the center for the development of his blood cells, where macrophages and B-lymphocytes are formed by differentiation from progenitor cells – one of the main “players” of our immunity.

To study the effect of maternal diet on the development of these cells, researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (USA) studied hematopoiesis in rhesus monkey embryos whose mothers received either a high- or low-fat diet.

The results were alarming: rhesus monkeys whose mothers had Western-style diets had severely impaired immune cell development: in addition to an inflammatory response among progenitor cells, the researchers found a reduced activity of nascent macrophages and B-lymphocytes.

All this could lead to serious problems with the immune system in born cubs, up to immunodeficiency.

Because the study was conducted on a small sample (four and nine macaques fed a fatty and lean diet), the researchers were unable to track other, weaker effects of maternal diet on the health of the developing fetus.

In addition, because the embryos had to be sacrificed to achieve the goals of the study, the scientists were unable to assess the impact of a high-fat diet on the health of the born cubs: this will require additional research.

Such studies not only increase knowledge about the intricacies of the interaction between mother and fetus, but also emphasize the importance of proper nutrition for pregnant women who do not want to provide their children with health problems.

French fries, pork sausages, or ice cream can be delicious, but it’s best to limit your consumption during pregnancy.


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