Protective effects of dietary pulse flours on the transgenerational influence of maternal obesity

Pregnant woman at the doctors office.

This study will explore the utility of maternal pulse consumption as a means of limiting the transgenerational influence of obesity by modulating the gut microbiome in mothers and offspring. 

Principal Investigator: Todd C. Rideout, PhD

Funding Agency: USDA Agricultural Research Service

: Fifty percent of pregnant women in the U.S. are overweight or obese, putting not only the mothers’ health at risk but substantially increasing the risk of obesity and metabolic disease for her offspring. Our long-term project goal is to characterize the influence of maternal consumption of pulse ingredients, sourced from yellow peas, lentils, navy beans, and pinto beans, as a means to improve maternal health and prevent negative offspring health outcomes in obese pregnancies by modulating the gut microbiome. Using a translatable diet-induced obese Sprague-Dawley rat model, we will evaluate how macronutrient exchange of pulse flours in a western-style diet during pre-pregnancy, gestation, and lactation can protect against obesity and associated metabolic dysfunction through alterations in the composition, diversity, and activity of the intestinal microbiome in both mothers and offspring.