Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #407990

Research Project: Pulse Crop Health Initiative

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Title: Maternal pea protein intake provides sex-specific protection against dyslipidemia in offspring from obese pregnancies

item RIDEOUT, TOOD - University At Buffalo
item ANDREANI, GABRIELLA - University At Buffalo
item PEMBROKE, JILLIAN - University At Buffalo
item CHOUDHARY, DIVYA - University At Buffalo
item BROWNE, RICHARD - University At Buffalo
item MAHMOOD, SALEH - University At Buffalo
item PATEL, MULCHAND - University At Buffalo

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2023
Publication Date: 2/8/2023
Citation: Rideout, T.C., Andreani, G.A., Pembroke, J., Choudhary, D., Browne, R.W., Mahmood, S., Patel, M.S. 2023. Maternal pea protein intake provides sex-specific protection against dyslipidemia in offspring from obese pregnancies. Nutrients. 15(4). Article 867.

Interpretive Summary: Maternal nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy is instrumental in ensuring early-life health in offspring and in shaping their lifelong risk of disease. Pregnant mothers require a higher protein intake to support fetal growth and development, and both the source and amount of dietary protein may affect pregnancy outcomes and have implications for the long-term health of offspring. Because dietary pulses, including dry beans, peas, and lentils, have an outstanding nutritional profile and are a rich source of protein, we investigated whether yellow pea protein, when fed to mothers throughout pregnancy and lactation, could offer protection against obesity and dyslipidemia (unhealthy blood levels of one or more kinds of lipid) in offspring, using a rodent model. Our findings suggest that maternal yellow pea protein consumption may be an effective strategy to improve adverse fertility issues that are commonly observed in high-fat-fed and obese rodent models. Furthermore, we observed that in the absence of any change in maternal obesity status, maternal substitution of casein with yellow pea protein protected adult male offspring from maternal obesity-induced dyslipidemia. We conclude that maternal dietary protein quality can influence fertility outcomes and can protect male offspring from the malprogramming of lipid metabolism in adulthood.

Technical Abstract: Increased consumption of dietary pulse protein has been shown to assist in body weight regulation and improve a range of metabolic health outcomes. We investigated if the exchange of casein for yellow pea protein (YPPN) in an obese-inducing maternal diet throughout pregnancy and lactation offered protection against obesity and dyslipidemia in offspring. Sixty female Sprague Dawley rats were fed a low-calorie control diet (CON), a high-caloric obesity-inducing diet (with casein protein (CP), HC-CP), or an isocaloric/macronutrient-matched HC diet supplemented with YPPN isolate (HC-PPN) in pre-pregnancy, gestation, and lactation. Body weight (BW) and metabolic outcomes were assessed in male and female offspring at weaning and in adulthood after consuming the CON diet in the postnatal period. Consumption of the HC-PPN diet did not protect against maternal obesity but did improve reproductive success compared with the HC-CP group (72.7% versus 43.7%) and reduced total energy, fat, and protein in maternal milk. Male, but not female, offspring from mothers fed the HC-CP diet demonstrated hyperphagia, obesity, dyslipidemia, and hepatic triglyceride (TG) accumulation as adults compared with CON offspring. Isocaloric exchange of CP for YPPN in a high-calorie obese-inducing diet did not protect against obesity but did improve several aspects of lipid metabolism in adult male offspring including serum total cholesterol, LDL/VLDL cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), and hepatic TG concentration. Our results suggest that the exchange of CP for YPPN in a maternal obese-inducing diet selectively protects male offspring from the malprogramming of lipid metabolism in adulthood.