Dietary approaches to positively influence fetal determinants of adult health

FASEB J. 2006 Feb;20(2):371-3. doi: 10.1096/fj.05-4889fje. Epub 2005 Dec 14.


An imbalance between production and scavenging of oxidants is a commonality found in factors that result in fetal determinants that negatively affect adult health. We reasoned that a dietary intervention that promotes oxidant scavenging through phase 2 protein induction would have positive effects on fetal programming of adult health. Previously, we demonstrated that a diet containing broccoli sprouts high in glucoraphanin (Grn), precursor of the phase 2 protein inducer sulforaphane, decreased oxidative stress and associated problems in male spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats (SHRsp). We hypothesized that placing females on a Grn-containing (Grn+) diet would have similar positive effects and that the adult offspring of such females would have lower blood pressures and less tissue inflammation than offspring from mothers on control diet. We demonstrate that female SHRsp on a Grn+ diet had decreased oxidative stress and associated problems such as hypertension than females on control diet. The offspring of females on Grn+ diet also had lower blood pressures and less tissue inflammation in adulthood regardless of diet, with offspring placed on a Grn+ diet having the best health outcomes. We conclude that reducing oxidative stress in pregnant females has profound outcomes in the health of their adult offspring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Brassica
  • Diet*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / diet therapy
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lactation / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR


  • NF-kappa B