Impact of a high-protein diet during lactation on milk composition and offspring in a pig model
Early postnatal nutrition not only holds relevance to infant growth, but also determines the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. It is suggested that a high-protein (HP) diet in early childhood can predispose children to obesity. However, data concerning possible alterations in milk composition and the development of the offspring in response to a maternal HP diet are currently not available. To address this question, we conducted a study using pigs as a model organism.
At parturition, sows were assigned to two experimental groups. During lactation, the control group received a diet with a protein content of 16%, whereas the diet of the HP group contained 30% protein. After 28 days of lactation, samples were taken from sows and piglets for the quantification of free amino acids and other metabolites and for histology.
Serum and milk urea showed the most marked differences between the two groups of sows, whereas serum urea concentration in piglets did not differ. Here, we found that the intake of an HP diet changed a series of metabolites in sows, but had only small effects on milk composition and virtually no effects on growth in the offspring. Interestingly, maternal protein intake during lactation shapes the microbiome of the offspring.
From our current study, we conclude that even a very high maternal protein intake throughout lactation has no impact on growth and health parameters of the offspring.
KeywordsLactation Pig High protein Milk
Branched chain amino acid
Free amino acid
Insulin-like growth factor 1
Phosphate buffered saline
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
- 6.Tielemans SMAJ, Altorf-van der Kuil W, Engberink MF et al (2013) Intake of total protein, plant protein and animal protein in relation to blood pressure: a meta-analysis of observational and intervention studies. J Hum Hypertens 27:564–571. https://doi.org/10.1038/jhh.2013.16 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 13.Thone-Reineke C, Kalk P, Dorn M et al (2006) High-protein nutrition during pregnancy and lactation programs blood pressure, food efficiency, and body weight of the offspring in a sex-dependent manner. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 291:R1025–R1030. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00898.2005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 21.National Research Council (2012) Nutrient requirements of swine, Eleventh revised edition. Animal nutrition series. National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- 22.Bassler R (1976) Die chemische Untersuchung von Futtermitteln, Methodenbuch, 3rd edn. VDLUFA-Verl., DarmstadtGoogle Scholar
- 25.BVL (2006) Amtliche Sammlung von Untersuchungsverfahren nach § 64 LFGB, § 38 TabakerzG, § 28b GenTG: (L). In: Amtliche Sammlung von Untersuchungsverfahren nach § 64 LFGB, § 38 TabakerzG, § 28b GenTG. Beuth Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- 29.Behr M, Humbeck K, Hause G et al (2010) The hemibiotroph Colletotrichum graminicola locally induces photosynthetically active green islands but globally accelerates senescence on aging maize leaves. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 23:879–892. https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-23-7-0879 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar