Diet Induced Inflammation and Potential Consequences on Fetal Development

Hemalatha R


The significance of diet induced inflammation in gestational tissue (chorioamnionitis) on fetal growth and development is emerging as an important area of research. Role of infection and intrauterine inflammation in preterm deliveries has been extensively explored, but, implication of sterile inflammation (not associated with infection) on fetal development has received little attention. Inflammation is generally thought to be the result of a local or systemic infection or products of infection; conversely, inflammation may result from high calorie intake or from diets low in micronutrients. While systemic inflammation is widely proposed as the predisposing factor for the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases in adults, accumulating evidences now suggest that low grade intrauterine inflammation might impair linear growth and adversely affect myogenesis and adipogenesis that might have lasting effects on offspring. Given that intrauterine inflammation is frequently present, its origin and impact on fetal development needs attention. The public health implications of nutrition-mediated inflammation is of particular importance in India, which is burdened with problem of over-nutrition coupled with undernutrition and micronutrient malnutrition. Studies to unearth the link between nutrition and inflammation and its impact on fetal growth and development are needed. This review explores the potential consequences of intrauterine inflammation on fetal growth and development.

Relevant Publications in Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy