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Maternal obesity exposes newborns to higher levels of oxidative stress

from Contributed by Susan F. Franks, PhD, ABPP

A recent study published in Obesity provides evidence linking maternal obesity with higher levels of oxidative imbalance in the newborn.

Juan Manuel Gallardo and colleagues examined markers of oxidative stress in postpartum umbilical cord blood to see if there was a relationship with the mother's pre-pregnancy weight status. Using pre-pregnancy medical records, 72 healthy mother-child dyads were classified into normal, overweight, and with obesity maternal weight status. Immediately after delivery, blood was obtained from the umbilical cord and later analyzed for levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO).

A cross-sectional analysis found increasingly higher levels of MDA and NO in cord blood as maternal pre-pregnancy weight status increased. Furthermore, heavier maternal weight status weakened the direct relationship between these two markers of oxidative stress. These findings add to a growing body of literature regarding oxidative stress in newborns of mothers with obesity, and suggests that biomarkers of oxidative stress should be further investigated to predict infant risk for future adverse health outcomes. Read the full article in the Obesity journal here. more

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