Sugar Consumption During Pregnancy Could Raise Child’s Risk For Heart Disease

The negative consequences of consuming vast amounts of fructose during pregnancy could impact future generations of children, according to a new study conducted by The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

During the study one group of pregnant mice drank water sweetened with fructose while the other group drank just water on its own. The pregnant mice who consumed the water loaded with fructose had offspring with several more risk factors for heart disease.

"We found that when the mother has a high intake of fructose in her diet throughout pregnancy, her offspring is more at risk of developing adult obesity, high blood pressure and metabolic dysfunction, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease," said Antonio Saad, lead author of the study.

Worldwide implications

Researchers believe the results could have important implications for people around the globe because fructose - a natural sugar - is used in many processed foods and sodas.

Previous research has already shown a link between fructose intake and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Researchers observed this link during the study as well.

All offspring in the fructose group showed higher peak glucose levels and higher blood pressure while female offspring were heavier and showed an increase in the percentage of abdominal fat tissue and liver fat.

"This effect is more pronounced in female offspring,” said Saad. “Limiting intake of high fructose-enriched foods and beverages during pregnancy may have a great impact on the child's future health."

Source: The University of Texas Medical Branch

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