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Pregnancy Diet with Olive Oil Benefits Unborn Development

Unborn 2A recent study conducted by researchers from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) and from the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences of the University of Milan (DiSFeB) has shown that a diet rich in olive oil has a positive effect on the development of the unborn child and may also affect the child during adult life.

Prof. Marilise Escobar Burger, one of the authors of the study, explained “During the gestation, there is a great incorporation of fatty acids into the fetal brain, in order to maintain the adequate development. Since olive oil is consumed in the Mediterranean diet with great results, the idea was that the olive oil, with a favorable fatty acids profile, could be good as well in the prenatal period.”

According to Camila Simonetti Pase, Federal University of Santa Maria, olive oil regularly consumed during perinatal period seems to be able to prevent oxidative damage and improve the expression of protective neurotrophins in the adult brain.

The researchers evaluated the influence of different diets on rodent pups by feeding them a diet enriched with 20 percent olive oil (OOED) with one group was subjected to a standard diet (CD). They monitored the pups at various times during pregnancy, lactation, and following weaning until adulthood. They focused on measuring oxidative and molecular brain parameters and weight during their lives and found positive results for levels of prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

Interestingly, the pups whose diet was changed from a CD to OOED 21 days after birth showed a greater weight than the group that remained the same original diet (OOED) to adulthood.

Researcher Camila Simonetti Pase (UFSM) explained that “an olive oil diet during perinatal period seems to be able to prevent oxidative damage and improve the expression of protective neurotrophins in the adult brain.” The neurotrophins evaluated in our work are related to cellular survival, plasticity and protection from neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.”

The idea of the study and the joint collaboration started when Dr. Angélica Martelli Teixeira, who used to work with fatty acids in Brazil, got in touch with the Italian researchers of the University of Milan during an exchange program in Italy for her PhD.

The study adds to a an ever-increasing body of research that demonstrates diets rich or poor in fats (good fats, in particular such as olive oil) or sugars may have effects on the mechanisms of brain function and functional recovery after traumatic injuries. Further, the results open a line of pioneering research on feeding and therapeutic strategies and on the potential of healthy eating habits to prevent neonatal conditions and their influence on adult life.

So, Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your diet can help your unborn and growing child throughout pregnancy and life. Let’s get healthy together!

Adapted from:

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