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Maternal fructose intake aggravates the harmful effects of a Western diet in rat male descendants impacting their cholesterol metabolism.

Food & Function 2024 May 21
Scope : fructose consumption from added sugars correlates with the epidemic rise in MetS and CVD. Maternal fructose intake has been described to program metabolic diseases in progeny. However, consumption of fructose-containing beverages is allowed during gestation. Cholesterol is also a well-known risk factor for CVD. Therefore, it is essential to study Western diets which combine fructose and cholesterol and how maternal fructose can influence the response of progeny to these diets. Methods and results : a high-cholesterol (2%) diet combined with liquid fructose (10%), as a model of an unhealthy Western diet, was administered to descendants from control and fructose-fed mothers. Gene (mRNA and protein) expression and plasma, fecal and tissue parameters of cholesterol metabolism were measured. Interestingly, progeny from fructose-fed dams consumed less liquid fructose and cholesterol-rich chow than males from control mothers. Moreover, descendants of fructose-fed mothers fed a Western diet showed an increased cholesterol elimination through bile and feces than males from control mothers. Despite these mitigating circumstances to develop a proatherogenic profile, the same degree of hypercholesterolemia and severity of steatosis were observed in all descendants fed a Western diet, independently of maternal intake. An increased intestinal absorption of cholesterol, synthesis, esterification, and assembly into lipoprotein found in males from fructose-fed dams consuming a Western diet could be the cause. Moreover, an augmented GLP2 signalling seen in these animals would explain this enhanced lipid absorption. Conclusions : maternal fructose intake, through a fetal programming, makes a Western diet considerably more harmful in their descendants than in the offspring from control mothers.

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