FOPP, which stands for Fish Oil and Probiotics in Pregnancy, describes the focus of the study: fish oil and probiotics and their impacts on the nutrition and health of both the mother and the child, especially focusing on the risk of gestational diabetes (GDM).
The aims of the study are to determine whether probiotics and/or fish oil supplements can decrease the risk of gestational diabetes (GDM) and to beneficially impact maternal weight and body composition during and after pregnancy. Further, we are investigating whether these supplements could influence the immune system of the child and thus potentially decrease the risk of allergy. In addition, we study dietary intake, lipid metabolism, low-grade inflammation and gut microbiome. In more general terms, this study will provide answers to how maternal diet should be modified in order to induce health benefits in both mother and child. Also, the mechanisms of the underlying health effects will be enlightened.
This randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study began at the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital (TYKS) in the autumn of 2013 and in 2019 the 2-year postpartum visits are on-going. We are currently planning study visits at the child’s age of 5-6 years, when the long-term impacts of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on both maternal and child health will be investigated. We have reported the results of the intervention on the maternal glucose metabolism and on the incidence of GDM (Pellonperä et al. 2019). The results revealed no benefit by the intervention on these measures, but was safe and well tolerated. Fish oil and probiotics have been suggested to act through a range of mechanisms to exert beneficial effects on the health of the child. We are currently investigating the impact of the intervention on child metabolism and health.