Research published online in The FASEB Journal, shows that in mice, what is eaten during adolescence or childhood development may alter long-term behavior and learning, and can even "rescue" females from the negative effects on behavior resulting from a poor maternal diet during pregnancy.
"These are provocative findings," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal." So many effects during pregnancy have been touted as irreversible--perhaps not always so. "
In their study Reyes and colleagues used four groups of female mice. The first group was fed a control diet during pregnancy and lactation. The second group was fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation. The third was also fed a nutrient-enriched diet during early life. The fourth group included offspring from the mice fed a high-fat diet that were fed the nutrient-enriched diet during early life.
They found that the female offspring who were fed the nutrient-enriched diet during early life learned faster and were more motivated to obtain the sugar reward. Furthermore, the nutrient supplementation also reversed some of the deficits observed due to high-fat feeding during pregnancy.