7 November 2016

Don't eat for 2, your pregnancy microbes do it for you!

When I started this blog last year, common belief was that as long as babies are in the womb, they are free of germs (early post on MBAI), but this is now shifting to the understanding that babies are being colonized prior to their birth. But how are they? And what does mum do about it?
 In that earlier MBAI post, I also wrote that a mum's microbiota changes during pregnancy to prepare for baby's birth and colonization. Today, I'm exploring this in more detail:
A 2012 study showed that the microbiota of a 1st trimester pregnant woman was different than the microbiota of a 3rd trimester pregnant woman and it had a profound impact on the woman's metabolism.
By transferring their respective human poo into germ-free bubble mice, they observed that the mice acquiring the poop from heavily-pregnant women became obese, insulin-resistant, and had a greater inflammatory response than lean mice that received poop from newly-pregnant women.
Extraordinary!
But why?
Those changes that include enhanced absorption of sugar and fat from food, and stimulation of the immune system are all in place to ensure a healthy fetal development.
Extracting more calories from food is a feature of bacterial strains that may live predominantly in overweight and obese people - read MBAI 'Is calorie counting over?'
The study also showed that this special pregnancy microbiota was not back to normal straight after birth as they tested it one month postpartum, which is interesting and makes me wonder if there are studies that show if it ever comes back to normal...(and that would explain a lot to a lot of mums...)
Did you put a lot of weight on during pregnancy?
See you next Monday,

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