Consuming a Mediterranean-Style Diet During Pregnancy Can Have Neurodevelopmental Effects on Offspring

October 02, 2023

New Research Shows that a Diet Rich in Mediterranean Foods is Linked to a Lower Likelihood of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

According to a new prospective birth cohort study, a high maternal Mediterranean-style diet score (MSDS) was associated with a lower likelihood of overall neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) and other developmental disorders (DD) in offspring. The current study included 3153 mother-child pairs in the greater Boston area. The authors analyzed data regarding maternal diet obtained by food questionnaires and sociodemographic information from in-person interviews with mothers within 24 to 72 hours after giving birth. After controlling for several key potential confounders, the team found that high maternal MSDS showed a lower likelihood of NDD and other DD in offspring but, interestingly, not with autism or ADHD. However, the study found that among women with obesity and/or diabetes, a high maternal MSDS was not only associated with a lower likelihood of NDD but also a lower likelihood with autism in offspring. Shockingly, of the 3153 mother-child pairs, the research team identified diagnoses of 1362 neurodevelopmental disorders (43.2%), including 123 cases of autism (3.9%), 445 ADHD (14.1%), and 794 other DD (25.2%). Ultimately, this study suggests maternal diet may influence offspring neurodevelopment by affecting epigenetic methylation modifications, microbiome, oxidative stress, and immune response.

Original Study

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons