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Mother’s High-Fat Diet During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Stillbirth – Study

June 3, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Expectant mothers who eat a high-fat diet face an increased risk of their children being stillborn, a U.S. study has found. The study in macaque monkeys showed that a diet rich in fat decreases blood flow to the placenta, which provides nourishment to the fetus. The researchers observed 24 pregnant Japanese macaques whose diet consisted either of 32 percent calories from fat or 14 percent calories from fat over four years. The monkeys that ate a high-fat diet experienced a 38 percent to 56 percent decrease in blood flow from the uterus to the placenta, whether the monkeys were obese or slender. The risk of stillbirth was increased when the monkeys were obese with hyper-insulinemia, or pre-diabetes.
A. E. Frias, et al., "Maternal High-Fat Diet Disturbs Uteroplacental Hemodynamics and Increases the Frequency of Stillbirth in a Nonhuman Primate Model of Excess Nutrition", Endocrinology, June 03, 2011, © The Endocrine Society
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