A1 Journal article – refereed
Pregestational overweight and obesity are associated with differences in gut microbiota composition and systemic inflammation in the third trimester

List of Authors: Maria Florencia Zacarias, Maria Carmen Collado, Carmen Gomez-Gallego, Heini Flinck, Janne Aittoniemi, Erika Isolauri, Seppo Salminen
Publication year: 2018
Journal: PLoS ONE
Journal name in source: PLOS ONE
Journal acronym: PLOS ONE
Volume number: 13
Issue number: 7
Number of pages: 15
ISSN: 1932-6203

The obesity epidemic is a global challenge, and the velocity of propagation is high in the population at reproductive age. Overweight and obesity during pregnancy have been associated with high birth weight and an increased risk of childhood obesity, reinforcing the risk of other non-communicable diseases. Obesity involves chronic low-grade systemic inflammation. New biomarkers for early detection of obesity risk are urgently required. The aim of this study was to identify the connection between pregestational BMI (pre-BMI) status and inflammatory biomarkers during the third trimester of pregnancy and their association with intestinal microbiota composition. Fifty-four pregnant women were classified according to pre-pregnancy BMI as normoweight, overweight, or obese. Weight gain, inflammatory biomarkers (hs_CRP, haptoglobin, and suPAR), and microbiota composition were assessed during the third trimester. A significant lower weight gain for obese mothers and a positive correlation between pre-BMI and inflammatory biomarkers were detected (Spearman's correlation). Haptoglobin levels were significantly higher in overweight and obese mothers. Higher Firmicutes levels and a higher ratio Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes were observed in the overweight and obese subjects. High hs_CRP and haptoglobin levels were also correlated with decreased microbiota diversity (Shannon index), whereas haptoglobin and hs_CRP values were correlated with several microbiota components, such as Ruminococcus gnavus and Faecalibacterium, and with specific phyla in the normoweight and overweight mothers; no significant associations with microbiota were found for suPAR. In conclusion, haptoglobin and hs_CRP reflected pregestational BMI status and related microbiota components, but haptoglobin was a better biomarker for microbiota associated with overweight. suPAR was associated with low grade inflammation dependent on pre-pregnancy BMI, but it was not related to deviated microbiota profiles.

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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 14:33