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Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov 14;110(9):1732-41. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000998. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

A maternal high-protein diet predisposes female offspring to increased fat mass in adulthood whereas a prebiotic fibre diet decreases fat mass in rats.

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Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4.


The negative effects of malnourishment in utero have been widely explored; the effects of increased maternal macronutrient intake are not known in relation to high fibre, and have been inconclusive with regard to high protein. In the present study, virgin Wistar dams were fed either a control (C), high-protein (40 %, w/w; HP) or high-prebiotic fibre (21·6 %, w/w; HF) diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. Pups consumed the C diet from 3 to 14·5 weeks of age, and then switched to a high-fat/sucrose diet for 8 weeks. A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and an oral glucose tolerance test were performed and plasma satiety hormones measured. The final body weight and the percentage of body fat were significantly affected by the interaction between maternal diet and offspring sex: weight and fat mass were higher in the female offspring of the HP v. HF dams. No differences in body weight or fat mass were seen in the male offspring. There was a significant sex effect for fasting and total AUC for ghrelin and fasting GIP, with females having higher levels than males. Liver TAG content and plasma NEFA were lower in the offspring of high-prebiotic fibre dams (HF1) than in those of high-protein dams (HP1) and control dams (C1). Intestinal expression of GLUT2 was decreased in HF1 and HP1 v. C1. The maternal HP and HF diets had lasting effects on body fat and hepatic TAG accumulation in the offspring, particularly in females. Whereas the HP diet predisposes to an obese phenotype, the maternal HF diet appears to reduce the susceptibility to obesity following a high-energy diet challenge in adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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