Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a low-cholesterol low-saturated fat diet on Doppler indices in the fetus and mother.
Study design: Two hundred ninety nonsmoking white women, aged 21-38 years, without previous pregnancy complications and carrying a single fetus were assigned randomly to continue their usual diet (control subjects; n = 149) or to adopt a low-cholesterol low-saturated fat diet (intervention group; n = 141) from gestational week 17-20 to birth. Doppler velocimetry of the umbilical artery and both uterine arteries were assessed at gestational weeks 24, 30, and 36.
Results: The physiologic gestational decrease in umbilical artery pulsatility index (PI) from week 24-30 was more pronounced in the intervention group, compared with the control group, with median values (interquartile range) of -0.17 (-0.29, -0.06) and -0.11 (-0.25, 0.01), respectively (P = .048). Assignment to the intervention diet did not influence the changes in mean PI value of the 2 uterine arteries (P = .3). The change in umbilical artery PI and mean PI value of the uterine arteries between weeks 24 and 36 were not significantly different between the 2 groups (P = 1.0 and .2 respectively).
Conclusion: Our study shows that a cholesterol-lowering diet during pregnancy may modify fetoplacental circulation in mid pregnancy.