According to a new study published in The Journal of Physiology, exaggerating the diet with omega 6 fats, particularly linoleic acid, could be harmful during pregnancy. In particular, a diet with three times the recommended daily dose of linoleic acid could be particularly dangerous.
Linoleic acid, present in foods such as potato chips and vegetable oil, bring about several changes in liver function, as researchers themselves have seen when conducting experiments on pregnant female mice. The researchers fed several rats over the course of 10 weeks on a diet with a high level of linoleic acid.
They then matched these rats and studied pregnant female mice. The latter showed an altered liver, particularly in terms of inflammatory protein concentrations. The latter caused the uterus to contract during pregnancy and decreased levels of a particular hormone that regulates the growth and development of the fetus.
Such changes, according to the researchers, can lead to various complications during pregnancy, including poor development of the baby.
According to Deanne Skelly, one of the authors of the research, “It is important that pregnant women consider their diet and our research is another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing child.”