The female low carb/high-fat offspring also had higher amounts of proteins that aid fatty acid oxidation (fat burning) than did the standard diet pups. A similar trend was noted in the male low carb/high-fat offspring, but the results were not as dramatic.
In humans, maintenance of low triglyceride levels and a good lipid (fat) metabolism is important as these factors can reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease, a condition that affects millions and kills thousands of Americans each year.
Importantly, the adult offspring of low carb/high-fat mothers had reduced liver triglyceride concentration (less than half that of the pups born to mothers on the standard diet), despite being fed the same standard high-carb/low-fat diet post weaning. They also expressed significantly greater levels of the hepatic proteins CD36, CPT-1 and PPAR, which help with fatty acid oxidation.
The results of the study "A high unsaturated fat, high protein and low carbohydrate diet during pregnancy and lactation modulates hepatic lipid metabolism in female adult offspring" will appear as one of 20 research studies on fetal programming (how a mother's actions affect her offspring) presented in the January 2005 edition of the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology.
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