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J Nutr. 2017 Jul;147(7):1392-1400. doi: 10.3945/jn.117.250589. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Higher Maternal Protein Intake during Pregnancy Is Associated with Lower Cord Blood Concentrations of Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF)-II, IGF Binding Protein 3, and Insulin, but Not IGF-I, in a Cohort of Women with High Protein Intake.

Author information

1
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, karen_switkowski@harvardpilgrim.org.
2
Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA.
3
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
4
Jean Mayer-USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and.
5
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA.
6
Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Maine Medical Center, and Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Scarborough, ME.
7
Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program, Office of the Director, NIH, Bethesda, MD; and.
8
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Background: Prenatal exposure to dietary protein may program growth-regulating hormones, consequently influencing early-life growth patterns and later risk of associated chronic diseases. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis is of particular interest in this context given its influence on pre- and postnatal growth and its sensitivity to the early nutritional environment.Objective: Our objective was to examine associations of maternal protein intake during pregnancy with cord blood concentrations of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and insulin.Methods: We studied 938 mother-child pairs from early pregnancy through delivery in the Project Viva cohort. Using multivariable linear regression models adjusted for maternal race/ethnicity, education, income, smoking, parity, height, and gestational weight gain and for child sex, we examined associations of second-trimester maternal protein intake [grams per kilogram (weight before pregnancy) per day], as reported on a food frequency questionnaire, with IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-3, and insulin concentrations in cord blood. We also examined how these associations may differ by child sex and parity.Results: Mothers were predominantly white (71%), college-educated (64%), and nonsmokers (67%). Mean ± SD protein intake was 1.35 ± 0.35 g ⋅ kg-1 ⋅ d-1 Each 1-SD increment in second-trimester protein intake corresponded to a change of -0.50 ng/mL (95% CI: -2.26, 1.26 ng/mL) in IGF-I and -0.91 μU/mL (95% CI: -1.45, -0.37 μU/mL) in insulin. Child sex and parity modified associations of maternal protein intake with IGF-II and IGFBP-3: protein intake was inversely associated with IGF-II in girls (P-interaction = 0.04) and multiparous mothers (P-interaction = 0.05), and with IGFBP-3 in multiparous mothers (P-interaction = 0.04).Conclusions: In a cohort of pregnant women with relatively high mean protein intakes, higher intake was associated with lower concentrations of growth-promoting hormones in cord blood, suggesting a pathway that may link higher protein intake to lower fetal growth. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02820402.

KEYWORDS:

IGF axis; Project Viva; cohort; fetal growth; growth-promoting hormones; prenatal nutrition; protein

PMID:
28592512
PMCID:
PMC5483967
DOI:
10.3945/jn.117.250589
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Author disclosures: KMS, PFJ, AM, M-FH, AF, MWG, SR-S, and EO, no conflicts of interest.

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