Poor Maternal Outcomes Linked to Fructose-rich Diets in Pregnancy

Everyone knows that excess fructose consumption can lead to diabetes and obesity. But no one realized just how dangerous fructose could be during pregnancy before scientific research connected excess fructose consumption to fetal and placental defects.

Fructose is basically sugar. It is found in food items like fruits and honey. Food manufacturers have also taken to using fructose, combining it with glucose to create high fructose corn syrup.

Dr. Kelle H. Moley’s research was most likely initiated by the considerable increase in fructose consumption over the last decade. The senior author of the study, Doctor Moley believes that fructose is a serious problem today. People are consuming more fructose than might be healthy. Moley believes that research into the impact of fructose consumption on human health is essential for the well-being of most modern societies today.pregnant_and_fruits

While studies have been initiated in the past to determine the connection between fructose consumption and ailments like diabetes, Moley thinks that more efforts should be aimed at determining the impact of a fructose heavy diet on pregnant women.

In pursuing her research, Moley and her team placed pregnant mice on both high-fructose and standard diets to determine how fetal and maternal health was impacted. Moley focused her efforts on fructose because the body doesn’t process it like other forms of sugar. Fructose is broken down by liver cells, and this leads to the formation of fat even while bringing about an increase in uric acid production. The presence of excess levels of uric acid has been known to offset various health problems.

In this study, Moley’s team discovered that the mice they kept on a high-fructose diet had more fat (triglyceride to be exact) and uric acid. More importantly, the mice with the fructose-rich diet had smaller fetuses.

Studies have emerged in recent years to suggest that babies who are smaller while in the womb tend to grow at a heightened rate, almost like the body is attempting to compensate for the small growth in uterus. In other words, such babies eventually struggle with obesity as adults, this along with various other health problems.

In trying to determine if her work was applicable to humans, Moley looked at the fructose intake of various pregnant women. Those women who consumed a lot of fructose while pregnant were found to experience similar effects to the mice that were kept on fructose rich diets.

Moley has invited other researchers to further explore the effects of fructose on human health; this along with encouraging pregnant women to watch the amount of fructose they consume.