Why these women drink an experimental drink while pregnant?
About 1800 women, in Auckland, Singapore and England, have decided to partake in a study with a use of a drink meant to be consumed pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy.
This drink is full of nutrients to combat diabetes for the newborn as well as increase the chances of the unborn child having a healthier lifestyle. The contents of the drink, while mixed with water, include mineral and vitamin supplements improving healthy fetus growth. Folic acid, which is known to play an important role in brain and spinal chord development as well as decreasing the risks of birth defects, is also added. Probiotics are also used to aid healthy microbial organisms within the digestive tract during pregnancy although no real research has been confirmed of this efficacy. There has been, however, proof that probiotics are the healthy bacteria needed for digestive health.
In addition to minerals and vitamins, a supplement is used called myo-inositol. Inositol, also referred to as myo-inositol, can help a pregnant woman by reducing anxiety and depression as well as treat poly-cystic and ovarian syndrome. More importantly, inositol helps the bond with carbohydrates and turn the sugars into metabolism. It is a small molecule structurally similar to glucose that is involved in cellular signaling and is quite effective in treating insulin resistance and PCOS with standard doses.
Naturally inositol can be found in legumes, nuts, and cereals.
The University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute, which is running the New Zealand part of the trial, believes that what a women consumes before they are pregnant can program a baby’s genes to switch on or off, hence, influencing risk of obesity. This drink will better regulate the glucose load and calories that the unborn fetus will receive.
Professor Keith Godfrey, the lead researcher of the University in Southampton in England believes this to be true as well, stating that by switching genes on and off that regulate a healthy blood sugar level, the drink will help combat the baby’s risk for obesity later in childhood.
The proof of the study remains to be seen. The hopes is to follow the children born with further studies. The first child of the study was born a healthy weight without complications on April 28, 2016 in Auckland.
Women aged 18-38 years
Planning to conceive within 6 months
Able to provide written, informed consent
Pregnant or lactating at recruitment
Assisted fertility, apart from those taking clomiphene or letrozole alone
Pre-existing diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
Oral or implanted contraception currently or in the last month, or with an Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) in situ
On metformin or systemic steroids currently or in the last month
Known serious food allergy
Not able to give informed consent
Women on anticonvulsants (who are treated with high dose B vitamins in pregnancy) currently or in the last month
On treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B or C currently or in the last month
The partners of the women (over 16 years of age) will also be invited to participate in the study. After having gained written informed consent, fathers will have blood, urine, hair sampling, cheek swabs and body measurements taken and will complete a health and a lifestyle questionnaire at one of the visits during pregnancy.
The mother will consent for their babies to have body measurements, buccal, hair, stool samples and allergy testing from birth to 12 months.
Contacts and Locations:
New Zealand, Singapore, and United Kingdom