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Issue 126 Winter 2017

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Maternal exercise improves glucose tolerance in female offspring

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Studies in humans and animals have highlighted that offspring exposed to maternal obesity are themselves at risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in later life. In rodents, maternal exercise has been shown to have beneficial effects on the metabolic phenotype of adult male offspring.

Since males and females are differentially affected by numerous metabolic insults and disease states, Standford and colleagues investigated the effects of maternal exercise in the presence of a maternal high fat diet on female offspring. They found that the detrimental effects of a maternal high fat diet on glucose tolerance in female offspring were ablated by maternal exercise that was carried out both before and during pregnancy. This was also accompanied by improved liver function in these offspring.

One important implication of the improvement of metabolic health in female offspring of exercised high fat fed dams is that this intervention could potentially halt the intergenerational transmission of obesity and diabetes.

Read the full article in Diabetes 66 2124–2136.

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