Study Shows Low-fibre Diet in Pregnancy Could Slow Infant’s Brain Growth – News18

The dietary limitation depends from place to place and also depends from person to person as well. (Image: Shutterstock)

When compared to children of mothers in high-fibre intake groups, children of mothers in low-fibre intake groups were more likely to exhibit neurodevelopment delays

Low-in-fibre intake in pregnancy could hamper the infant’s brain development, according to a new study from Japan.

While animal studies have shown low-fibre diet during pregnancy to impair brain nerve function in offspring, this study is the first one to find the same effects in humans, researchers said.

“Our results provided reinforcing evidence that undernutrition during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental delay in children,” said Kunio Miyake, a researcher at the University of Yamanashi and first author of the study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Miyake and team found after analysing more than 76,000 mother-infant pairs from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study. It is an ongoing project aimed at highlighting how the environment affects children’s health.

The team also found undersupply in maternal fibre to impact the children’s communication, problem-solving and personal-social skills, in addition to delayed development in movement and coordination.

The scientists collected the participants’ dietary information using a food frequency questionnaire, where the mothers were asked about the diet they consumed in the second and third trimesters of their pregnancy.

Children’s developmental progress was assessed through another questionnaire sent to parents upon the offspring turning three years old. Based on the parents’ responses, the scientists correlated maternal fibre intake with child brain development.

The recommended daily dietary fibre intake is 18 grams each day in Japan, while it is 28 grams in the US and Canada.

“Our results show that nutritional guidance for pregnant mothers is crucial to reduce the risk of future health problems for their children,” said Miyake.

The researchers also pointed to certain limitations of their study.

“Although this study considered the impact of folic acid intake during pregnancy, the possibility of other nutrients having an impact cannot be completely ruled out,” Miyake pointed out.

“In addition, dietary fibre intake from supplements could not be investigated,” Miyake said.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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