Spanish researchers observed in animal models that supplementing the maternal diet with betaine from whole grains, spinach, beets or quinoa during lactation induces temporary changes in the offspring’s intestinal flora and improves their long-term metabolic health.
One of the biggest threats to children’s health is overweight with obesityIn Spain, about 41% of boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 9 are affected by it. Worldwide, more than 41 million people under the age of 5 suffer from these diseases.In addition, obesity and child overweight are other chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes And cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
right now, A study Published in a magazine Science Translational Medicine revealed Supplement the diet of pregnant and lying-in women with betaine Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of obesity in children. It is a nutrient that can be found in different foods such as whole grains, spinach, beets or quinoa, and it is also naturally present in breast milk.
This work includes experts from the Obesity and Nutrition Network Biomedical Research Center (Hebrew), and the Sant Joan de Déu Institute (Internal Revenue Service) And the hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona.
“Pregnancy and the postpartum period define the susceptibility to chronic diseases in adulthood in an important way. Especially breast-feeding This is a window of opportunity for nutritional intervention to reduce the risk of childhood obesity,” he explained. Karl Lelin, Research coordinator and researcher of IRSJD.
The team analyzed breast milk samples from two different populations, one from the United States and the other from the Autonomous Region of Valencia, and verified that lower levels of betaine in milk are associated with faster growth in the first few months of life. Risk factors for the development of childhood obesity.
In order to study whether supplementing breast milk with betaine can improve the metabolic health of infants, a series of experiments were carried out in animal models, and it was found that adding betaine only during lactation would increase the content of this nutrient in milk and slow down the hatching speed.
In addition, this supplement has a long-term effect, because obesity and inflammation markers in puppies are reduced, and glucose metabolism in adulthood is improved.
David Sánchez-InfantesHe is the first co-author of CIBEROBN researchers and researchers. He confirmed that certain factors are prone to early obesity and may lead to long-term metabolic problems: obesity in parents, sleep disorders, unhealthy lifestyles or low socioeconomic factors : “Vitamin B supplementation during breastfeeding may reduce the risk of obesity and related diseases in adulthood.”
The role of intestinal flora
The researchers also observed Microbiota intestine Incubation, especially the increase of bacteria Akmancia In those animals fed milk supplemented with betaine.
This Akmancia It is a kind of bacteria that exists in the intestinal tract. Different studies have shown that it has a beneficial effect in the context of obesity and metabolic disorders. Researchers found that the intestinal abundance of this bacterium in boys and girls is directly related to the amount of betaine in breast milk.
The intestinal abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila in one-year-old boys and girls is directly related to the content of betaine in the mother’s milk.
“If we manage Akmancia He pointed out that the long-term beneficial effects on obesity and health that we have directly on the offspring of mice during lactation are similar to supplementing the maternal diet with betaine. Silvia Ribó, Is the first co-signer of the study.
The results observed in animal models were also confirmed in samples from the studied cohort. “The abundance of intestines Mok Ackerman One-year-old boys and girls, this is directly related to the betaine content in their mother’s milk,” says María Carmen Collado, Belongs to IATA-CSIC.
These studies have opened the door to future interventions in the first stage of life to cope with overweight and obesity in children. The research team has begun a clinical trial study to determine the beneficial effects of supplementing the diet of pregnant women with betaine during breastfeeding on the growth curve of the baby and its intestinal flora.
Ribo et al. Increasing betaine in breast milk can regulate the Akkermansia abundance of mammalian newborns and improve long-term metabolic health. Scientific Translation of Chinese Medicine. 13, eabb0322 (2021)