Feeding a slowly digestible carbohydrate diet during pregnancy of insulin-resistant rats prevents the excess of adipogenesis in their offspring

J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Nov:61:183-196. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2018.05.018. Epub 2018 Jun 12.


An obesogenic environment during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of dysregulation on adipogenesis and insulin resistance in the offspring. Being essential for the growing fetus, glucose supply is guaranteed by a number of modifications in the mother's metabolism, and thus, glucose control during pregnancy especially among obese or diabetic women is paramount to prevent adverse consequences in their children. Besides the election of low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, the rate of carbohydrate digestion could be relevant to keep a good glucose control. In the present study, we compared the effects of two high-fat diets with similar glycemic load but different rates of carbohydrate digestion given to pregnant insulin-resistant rats. After birth, all animals were fed a standard diet until age 14 weeks. We analyzed offspring body composition, plasma and adipocyte lipidomics, lipid metabolism in adipose tissue and insulin sensitivity. Those animals whose mothers were fed the rapid-digesting carbohydrate diet exhibited an excessive adipogenesis. Thus, these animals showed a marked lipidemia, increased lipid synthesis in the adipose tissue and reduced glucose transporter amount in the adipose. On the contrary, those animals whose mothers were fed the slow-digesting carbohydrate diet showed a profile in the measured parameters closer to that of the offspring of healthy mothers. These results support the hypothesis that not only glycemic index but the rate of carbohydrate digestion during gestation may be critical to regulate the programming of adipogenesis in the offspring.

Keywords: Early programming; Fat deposition; Lipidomics; Obesity risk reduction; Slow-digesting carbohydrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis / drug effects
  • Adipogenesis / physiology*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight
  • Carbohydrates / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids