Dr Kirsi Laitinen
Dr. Kirsi Laitinen Institute of Biomedicine, Turku University

Project description

Considering the importance of early life events during pregnancy on the health of both mother and child, and the vast role gut microbiome has on metabolism and health, we aimed to study the means to modify maternal diet during pregnancy to induce beneficial changes in maternal microbiome, metabolism and inflammatory status which would likely advance both maternal and child health.

We discovered partially distinct diet-gut microbiota-metabolism and inflammation responses in overweight and obese pregnant women. In overweight women, gut microbiota community composition was associated with an inflammatory status. In obese women, a higher dietary quality was related to a higher gut microbiota diversity and a healthy inflammatory status.

Adults with overweight or obesity may display partially distinct metabolic and inflammatory responses to the diet and that they exhibit differences in their gut microbiota species richness and diversity, and community composition. Further research is needed to design personalized diets that benefit gut microbiota, metabolism and clinical health.

What will this grant bring to the research project?

This grant enabled enrollment of a PhD researcher to the project. She has successfully acquired the bioinformatics methods and skills that are critical to carry out the research in this project with ultimate aim to gain the PhD degree.

In scientific terms, this grant reinforced the know-how in combining research data using bioinformatics methods and thus in gaining insight into diet-gut microbiota-metabolism interactions.

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