Endocrinologists from the San Carlos Clinical Hospital have shown that following a Mediterranean Diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil and pistachios during pregnancy improves the health of pregnant women and children in their first two years of life, reducing the risk of hospital admissions until by 25%, according to the study carried out on more than 700 children and published in the scientific journal Journal of Clinical Medicine.
The benefit of avoiding being overweight during pregnancy carries over to the offspring, as the results of the study confirm that the intake of the Mediterranean Diet, especially in women who have a body mass index less than 25 and a normal level during pregnancy of glucose tolerance, is associated with a reduction in hospital admissions for their children up to two years of age, as reported by the hospital center.
"In the children of mothers who had a healthier diet during pregnancy based on the Mediterranean Diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil and pistachios as dried fruit, a reduction in hospital admissions was observed due to bronchiolitis, asthma, or infectious diseases 25%”, stated the head of the Endocrinology Service of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital and principal investigator of the study, Alfonso Calle Pascual.
These benefits translate into a lower risk of bronchiolitis and asthma; fewer diseases requiring antibiotic treatment and fewer corticosteroid treatments in children born to women who participated in the study at two years of follow-up after birth. In other words, "at least one out of every four hospital admissions for children up to two years of age can be avoided by feeding the mother during pregnancy based on the Mediterranean diet," added Calle.
In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, 703 children participated, in which the following indicators were mainly taken into account: food allergies or intolerances, bronchiolitis or asthma, vaccination schedule, hospital admissions, frequenting of emergency services and whether they were breastfed, mixed or artificial.
The women who were part of the intervention group maintained greater adherence to nutritional recommendations and lower rates of gestational diabetes mellitus, as well as lower glucose levels and gained less weight during their pregnancy.
The group from the San Carlos Clinic had previously shown that early adherence to the Mediterranean Diet with a supplement of intake of extra virgin olive oil and walnuts can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus and other negative consequences, in addition to improving the metabolic profile of women in the postpartum.
Now it is verified that there is a clear benefit relationship between the consumption of the Mediterranean Diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil and pistachios for pregnant women, which is associated with a better anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and better microbiota profile, which induces beneficial results. for the health of children in their first two years of life.