Long-term impact of maternal endocrinopathies during breast feeding on growth and obesity risk in the offspring

Diabetes during pregnancy is one of the most common maternal endocrinopathies. The offspring have an increased obesity risk. About 50 years ago, first studies reported a decreased obesity risk in infants who were breastfed. Consecutively, a number of reports appeared supporting this hypothesis, while others did not. Reasons for this heterogeneity are unknown. However, it has not been considered so far that maternal diseases during perinatal life can affect breast milk composition, possibly influencing the long-term impact of breast feeding on the child. Per example, studies show alterations of breast milk composition in women with diabetes, particularly regarding hormones found in milk like insulin, which are suggested to play an important role in the regulation of growth in breast-fed infants. Most recently, we showed that neonatal ingestion of breast milk from diabetic mothers dose-dependently leads to an increased obesity risk. So far, no meta-analysis investigated the relationship between breast feeding and obesity in the offspring. Meta-analyses would offer the opportunity to quantitatively aggregate all information available. Additionally, by meta-analytic methods reasons underlying heterogeneity between study results can be detected, as well as confounders. The project aim is to perform meta-analyses on a possible relationship between breast feeding and obesity risk in healthy mothers and their offspring, as well as in mothers with diabetes and their offspring.
Head of Project:

Univ.Prof.Dr. Andreas Plagemann
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Department of Obstetrics CCM/CVK/CBF
Department of Obstetrics CVK/CBF
Tel. 450-524041
Additional Head of Project:

T. Harder
Additional Member of Project:

K. Roepke
Begin/End of Project:

10/2005 - 11/2010
Funded by:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V.