One of the most significant predictors of a child’s predisposition to obesity or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the mother’s diet when they were in the womb.
However, there’s hope – thanks to findings from a study researchers have been doing on mice, it appears that compounds found in kiwi, celery, papaya, green peppers, and parsley may help prevent NAFLD in utero.
The compound, known as pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), is an antioxidant and thus helps protect our bodies from free radicals.
And, in a previous study, researchers found that PQQ supplementation in obese, pregnant mice helped their offspring prevent mild fat accumulation in the liver.
During the researchers’ most recent study, they gave a high-fat diet (common to U.S citizens) to pregnant mice. Then, they began monitoring the offsprings’ health.
Astonishingly, the researchers found that the offsprings were 56% heavier in weight than offspring whose mothers were given a control diet.
In addition, offspring whose mothers were given a high-fat diet also exhibited a change in gut bacteria. This change is a common symptom of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – a condition where fat and inflammation build up in the liver.
However, there is some exciting news. As Medical News Today writes:
However, when pregnant mice received PQQ alongside their high-fat diets, the researchers found that the NASH-associated gut bacteria changes in their offspring were reversed, and they also showed less weight gain than offspring born to mothers that did not receive PQQ.
The researchers also said:
Although levels in lean versus obese mothers have not been studied in humans or animals, PQQ is a potentially safe therapeutic to test for prevention of developmental programming of NAFLD/NASH.