Scientific research is gathering new evidence on the impact of a balanced and healthy diet during pregnancy, on the growth and development of the baby. One such study has also been carried out by our scientists from the Department of Genetic Toxicology and Epigenetics and the Department of Nanotoxicology and Molecular Epidemiology.
The results of the study, entitled “Maternal Diet Quality and the Health Status of Newborns“, were published in the scientific journal MDPI Foods (IF 5,56) at the end of the past year. Scientists from the Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, also participated in this research.
The objective of this study was to assess the nutritional quality of the maternal diet and its contamination by persistent organic pollutants (POPs), in pregnant women living in two areas of the Czech Republic with different levels of air pollution and subsequently to assess the relationship of these two factors with birth weight and neonatal oxidative stress. To determine the level of oxidative stress, 8-isoprostane concentrations in umbilical cord plasma were measured. The overall nutritional quality of the maternal diet was not optimal. Of the nutritional factors, protein intake proved to be the most significant, showing a positive relationship with birth weight and a negative relationship with the oxidative stress of newborns. Dietary contamination by persistent organic pollutants was low and showed no statistically significant association with birth weight.
The most interesting result is that although the use of the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) has been banned in the Czech Republic for over 50 years, one of its metabolites was found in all (i.e. more than 300) food samples. In addition, this substance showed a statistically significant relationship with neonatal oxidative stress levels.
More information can be found on the website www.mdpi.com (open in a new window).