Send to

Choose Destination
Public Health Nutr. 2017 Aug;20(12):2145-2156. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017001215. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Organic food consumption during pregnancy and its association with health-related characteristics: the KOALA Birth Cohort Study.

Author information

1Research Department,Clinic Arlesheim,Arlesheim,Switzerland.
3Maastricht University,Department of Epidemiology,CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care,Maastricht,The Netherlands.
4Centre for Health Protection,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment,Bilthoven,The Netherlands.



To investigate the associations of organic food consumption with maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, hypertension and diabetes in pregnancy, and several blood biomarkers of pregnant women.


Prospective cohort study.


Pregnant women were recruited at midwives' practices and through channels related to consumption of food from organic origin.


Pregnant women who filled in FFQ and donated a blood sample (n 1339). Participant groups were defined based on the share of consumed organic products; to discriminate between effects of food origin and food patterns, healthy diet indicators were considered in some statistical models.


Consumption of organic food was associated with a more favourable pre-pregnancy BMI and lower prevalence of gestational diabetes. Compared with participants consuming no organic food (reference group), a marker of dairy products intake (pentadecanoic acid) and trans-fatty acids from natural origin (vaccenic and rumenic acids) were higher among participants consuming organic food (organic groups), whereas elaidic acid, a marker of the intake of trans-fatty acids found in industrially hydrogenated fats, was lower. Plasma levels of homocysteine and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were lower in the organic groups than in the reference group. Differences in pentadecanoic acid, vaccenic acid and vitamin D retained statistical significance when correcting for indicators of the healthy diet pattern associated with the consumption of organic food.


Consumption of organic food during pregnancy is associated with several health-related characteristics and blood biomarkers. Part of the observed associations is explained by food patterns accompanying the consumption of organic food.


Trans-fatty acids; Body weight regulation; Folate; Food and nutrient intake; Organic food; Pregnancy and nutrition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press Icon for Zurich Open Access Repository and Archive
Loading ...
Support Center