Intestinal permeability in pregnancy

Intestinal permeability in pregnancy

Decrease in intestinal permeability has been related to metabolic risk markers in non-pregnant population. We have shown that during pregnancy, intestinal permeability, measured by using serum zonulin as marker of intestinal permeability, increases from early to late pregnancy. Higher gut microbiota diversity, a higher relative abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a higher dietary intake of fiber and n-3-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids associated with lower serum zonulin concentration (lower intestinal permeability). Further, we have shown that serum zonulin concentrations correlated directly with metabolic risk markers, e.g. low grade inflammation and glucose metabolism at early pregnancy. Our findings suggest that intestinal permeability may have important role in regulation of maternal metabolism. When investigating the influence of the dietary supplements used in Fopp-study, we found that Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis 420 and n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids enhanced intestinal epithelium in vitro, but no effect on serum zonulin concentration were observed in the clinical trial.