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Nutr Res. 2018 Jul;55:57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.04.010. Epub 2018 Apr 21.

Fetal one-carbon nutrient concentrations may be affected by gestational diabetes.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, St. Michael's Hospital & University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, Ashdod, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Electronic address: eranb@assuta.co.il.
2
The Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
The Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
The Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
5
Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
6
Division of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
7
Freelance statistics consultant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
8
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Research Institute, the Hospital for Sick Children.
9
The Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; The Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
10
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, St. Michael's Hospital & University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

Both insufficiency and excess of one-carbon nutrients (folate, choline, vitamins B6 and B12) during pregnancy have been associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). However, the precise nature of this association has not been clearly established. We hypothesized that GDM may affect one-carbon nutrients concentrations in the fetus, thus possibly participating in epigenetic programing of the offspring. Maternal blood was collected at recruitment (12-16 weeks). At delivery (28-42 weeks), both maternal and cord blood were collected. Blood concentrations of one-carbon nutrients and their metabolites were compared between the two groups. A total of 368 women were included in the study, of whom 19 (5.6%) were later diagnosed with GDM. No significant differences were found in maternal blood concentrations of one-carbon nutrients and their metabolites between the GDM and control groups at recruitment or at delivery. In cord blood, however, serum folate (87.7 [IQR 70.4-103.9] vs 66.6 [IQR 45.5-80.3] nmol/L, P = .025) and plasma TMAO (2.82 [IQR 1.3-3.2] vs 1.35 [IQR 1.0-2.0] μmol/L, P = .017) concentrations were higher, while plasma betaine concentrations were lower (17.5 [IQR 16.3-19.4] vs 21.1 [IQR 18.0-24.1] μmol/L, P = .019) in infants born to mothers with GDM compared with control. Our data suggest that while maternal blood concentrations of one-carbon nutrients and their metabolites may not affect the risk of GDM, GDM may alter concentrations of serum folate, plasma betaine and TMAO in cord blood. These alterations in one-carbon nutrient concentrations in fetal circulation may impact epigenetic programing, thereby contributing to physiologic changes and disease susceptibility in adulthood associated with GDM offspring.

KEYWORDS:

Betaine; Choline; Folate; Gestational diabetes mellitus; Trimethylamine N-oxide

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