A new study has found that women who take antioxidants before and during their pregnancies could help to protect their child against type 2 diabetes, could potentially be useful for bringing down obesity rates in children .
Scientists at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have examined the effect of antioxidants before and during pregnancy in rats, to see if a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet during pregnancy does raise oxidative stress and lead to obesity and diabetes for the animals’ offspring.
In the study, published in the journal Diabetes, the researchers gave one group of rats a diet of feeding high fat, high-carbohydrate food, while another group consumed a more balanced diet. The offspring of the rats that had the more Western diet exhibited significantly higher amounts of inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as being significantly fatter and having impaired glucose tolerance compared with the control group.
The rats that consumed the Western diet, and also had antioxidants added to their food, produced offspring with significantly lower oxidative stress, no obesity and significantly better glucose tolerance.
Rebecca A. Simmons, senior author on the study, commented “We already know that there are critical periods during human development that influence the later development of obesity. This research suggests that if we can prevent inflammation and oxidative stress during pregnancy, we may lower the risk that a child will develop obesity.”

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