A recen research (“Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation: new evidence for the vertical transmisión of extra virgin olive oil phenolic compounds in rats”; Anallely López-Yerena et al. 2022) have shown that diets incorporating extra virgin olive oil may increase the phenolic content of breast milk, passing on potential health benefits to the infant.
It is the first time that i has been evaluated the possible vertical transmission of polyphenols to the offspring of laboratory rats fed extra virgin olive oil during pregnancy and lactation.
The study’s results demonstrate that enzymatic and microbial metabolites of hydroxytyrosol were detected in the plasma of the mother and offspring and the lactic serum.
“The concentration and number of hydroxytyrosol derivatives were higher than those of tyrosol, and the microbial metabolites were found in the highest concentration,” the researchers wrote.
“The observed vertical transmission of extra virgin olive oil phenolic compounds, whose health benefits are widely reported, provides further support for the importance of the maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation,” they added.
The results confirm earlier observations and research into the benefits of following the Mediterranean diet and extra virgin olive oil consumption on newborns.
In 2017 another group of researchers concluded that in a model of Iberian sows, maternal supplementation with hydroxytyrosol may improve pre- and early post-natal development of offspring in pregnancies at risk of IUGR (“Polyphenols and IUGR pregnancies: Maternal hydroxytyrosol supplementation improves prenatal and early-postnatal growth and metabolism of the offspring”; Marta Vázquez-Gómez; 2017)
In 2019 the same group (“Polyphenols and IUGR Pregnancies: Effects of Maternal Hydroxytyrosol Supplementation on Postnatal Growth, Metabolism and Body Composition of the Offspring”; Marta Vázquez-Gómez; 2019) demonstrated that maternal supplementation with hydroxytyrosol may improve juvenile development of offspring in at-risk pregnancies and pave the way for more specific studies aiming to elucidate effects on adiposity, metabolism, and meat organoleptic characteristics.
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