High-fructose diet in pregnancy leads to fetal programming of hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity in adult offspring

Antonio F. Saad, Joshua Dickerson, Talar B. Kechichian, Huaizhi Yin, Phyllis Gamble, Ashley Salazar, Igor Patrikeev, Massoud Motamedi, George R. Saade, Maged M. Costantine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background Consumption of fructose-rich diets in the United States is on the rise and thought to be associated with obesity and cardiometabolic diseases. Objective We sought to determine the effects of antenatal exposure to high-fructose diet on offspring's development of metabolic syndrome–like phenotype and other cardiovascular disease risk factors later in life. Study Design Pregnant C57BL/6J dams were randomly allocated to fructose solution (10% wt/vol, n = 10) or water (n = 10) as the only drinking fluid from day 1 of pregnancy until delivery. After weaning, pups were started on regular chow, and evaluated at 1 year of life. We measured percent visceral adipose tissue and liver fat infiltrates using computed tomography, and blood pressure using CODA nonivasive monitor. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing with corresponding insulin concentrations were obtained. Serum concentrations of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, leptin, and adiponectin were measured in duplicate using standardized assays. Fasting homeostatic model assessment was also calculated to assess insulin resistance. P values <.05 were considered statistically significant. Results Maternal weight, pup number, and average weight at birth were similar between the 2 groups. Male and female fructose group offspring had higher peak glucose and area under the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing curve compared with control, and higher mean arterial pressure compared to control. Female fructose group offspring were heavier and had higher percent visceral adipose tissue, liver fat infiltrates, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance scores, insulin area under the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing curve, and serum concentrations of leptin, and lower concentrations of adiponectin compared to female control offspring. No significant differences in these parameters were noted in male offspring. Serum concentrations of triglycerides or total cholesterol were not different between the 2 groups for either gender. Conclusion Maternal intake of high fructose leads to fetal programming of adult obesity, hypertension, and metabolic dysfunction, all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This fetal programming is more pronounced in female offspring. Limiting intake of high fructose–enriched diets in pregnancy may have significant impact on long-term health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378.e1-378.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • fructose
  • metabolism
  • mice
  • offspring
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'High-fructose diet in pregnancy leads to fetal programming of hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity in adult offspring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this