Consumption of artificially sweetened beverages during pregnancy impacts infant gut microbiota and body mass index

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Isabelle Laforest-LapointeM.-C. Arrieta


Artificial sweetener consumption by pregnant women has been associated with an increased risk of infant obesity, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We aimed to determine if maternal consumption of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) during pregnancy is associated with modifications of infant gut bacterial community composition during the first year of life, and whether these alterations are linked with infant body mass index (BMI) at one year of age. This research included 100 infants from the prospective Canadian CHILD Cohort Study, selected based on maternal ASB consumption during pregnancy (50 non-consumers and 50 daily consumers). We identified four microbiome clusters, of which two recapitulated the maturation trajectory of the infant gut bacterial communities from immature to mature and two deviated from this trajectory. Maternal ASB consumption was associated with the depletion of several Bacteroides sp. and higher infant BMI. As we face an unprecedented rise in childhood obesity, future studies should evaluate the causal role of gut microbiota in the association between maternal ASB consumption, infant development and metabolism, and body composition.

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