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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Dec;144(1-3):885-93. doi: 10.1007/s12011-011-9048-3. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Folic acid and protein content in maternal diet and postnatal high-fat feeding affect the tissue levels of iron, zinc, and copper in the rat.

Author information

1
Department of Human Nutrition and Hygiene, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 31, 60-624, Poznań, Poland.

Abstract

Although maternal, fetal, and placental mechanisms compensate for disturbances in the fetal environment, any nutritional inadequacies present during pregnancy may affect fetal metabolism, and their consequences may appear in later life. The aim of the present study is to investigate the influence of maternal diet during gestation on Fe, Zn, and Cu levels in the livers and kidneys of adult rats. The study was carried out on the offspring (n = 48) of mothers fed either a protein-balanced or a protein-restricted diet (18% vs. 9% casein) during pregnancy, with or without folic acid supplementation (0.005- vs. 0.002-g folic acid/kg diet). At 10 weeks of age, the offspring of each maternal group were randomly assigned to groups fed either the AIN-93G diet or a high-fat diet for 6 weeks, until the end of the experiment. The levels of Fe, Zn, and Cu in the livers and kidneys were determined by the F-AAS method. It was found that postnatal exposure to the high-fat diet was associated with increased hepatic Fe levels (p < 0.001), and with decreased liver Zn and Cu contents (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), as well as with decreased renal Cu contents (p < 0.001). Moreover, the offspring's tissue mineral levels were also affected by protein and folic acid content in the maternal diet. Both prenatal protein restriction and folic acid supplementation increased the liver Zn content (p < 0.05) and the kidney Zn content (p < 0.001; p < 0.05, respectively), while folic acid supplementation resulted in a reduction in renal Cu level (p < 0.05). Summarizing, the results of this study show that maternal dietary folic acid and protein intake during pregnancy, as well as the type of postweaning diet, affect Fe, Zn, and Cu levels in the offspring of the rat. However, the mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon are unclear, and warrant further investigation.

PMID:
21484405
PMCID:
PMC3241920
DOI:
10.1007/s12011-011-9048-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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