Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center2019 Annual Report
Objective 1: To define the effect of pregnancy and lactation on carotenoid and vitamin A status and markers of bioactivity in diverse healthy weight and obese women. Subobjective 1A: We will define the changes in plasma, skin, and macular (a marker of brain lutein and zeaxanthin) carotenoid status changes over the course of pregnancy and lactation in healthy and obese women. This will allow us to define the dietary, anthropometric, and genetic determinants of carotenoid status. Subobjective 1B: We will determine if carotenoid status is associated with markers of inflammation and cognitive function in pregnant and lactating women. Subobjective 1C: We will define the relationship between maternal and infant carotenoid status at birth and 8 wk in lean and obese mothers. Objective 2: To determine the pharmacokinetic basis for why adiposity affects breast milk carotenoid composition. Subobjective 2A: We will define the plasma and breast milk pharmacokinetics of 2H-labeled lutein and beta-carotene in normal and obese lactating mothers. Subobjective 2B: We will determine the bioavailability of 2H-labeled lutein and beta-carotene from intrinsically-labeled spinach in lactating mothers.
Women with either a pre-pregnancy normal or obese BMI will be recruited in the first trimester of pregnancy. Subjects will undergo a dietary, carotenoid status, body mass and composition, physical activity and sleep, and cognitive function assessments at 24 and 34 weeks of gestation and at 8 weeks post-partum. At the post-natal visit, mothers will participate in the same tests, will be asked to provide a breast milk sample and infant anthropometrics and carotenoid status will be assessed by blood sampling and dermal carotenoid intensity measures. Maternal and cord blood will be collected upon delivery for carotenoid analysis. Through these studies we will determine if maternal carotenoid status changes over the course of pregnancy and if that change can be explained by changes in maternal carotenoid intake and body composition.
In the first 2 months of this project being certified, we have begun to prepare for Objective 1, which seeks to define the effect pregnancy and lactation on carotenoid and vitamin A status and on markers of bioactivity in diverse health weight and obese women. In preparation for this aim, we have developed materials and procedures for educating subjects in how to estimate and report what they ate. We have also pilot tested the software to be used to analyze the nutritional content of what subjects report they ate. Our lab has developed relationships within the community to facilitate subject recruitment. We have also devoted laboratory assets to the analysis of breast milk carotenoids and vitamin A as well as developed laboratory standard operating procedures necessary for recruitment, meeting with subjects, data collection, and sample analysis. In the coming months, we look forward to submitting the human subjects research protocol for institutional approval to Baylor College of Medicine and recruiting subjects to the first objective of the study.