Effects of Fermented and Fiber-rich foods on Maternal & Offspring Microbiome Study (FeFiFo-MOMS)

Study Aim

The maternal gut microbiota changes throughout the progression of pregnancy, which has been documented in industrial-lifestyle populations, yet we lack an understanding of how a mother’s microbiota, including the shifts that occur during pregnancy, impacts maternal and infant health. Given the interdependence of diet and the microbiota, a logical next step is to use microbiota-targeted dietary interventions in pregnant women to evaluate their effects on the microbiota during pregnancy, the infant’s developing microbiota, and aspects of their health. Longitudinal studies investigating microbiota dynamics in women during pregnancy and lactation and in their child’s first year of life during a microbiome-targeted dietary intervention will help answer such diverse questions as (i) how the maternal microbiome contributes to infant microbiome assembly, (ii) whether aspects of maternal diet can alter infant microbiome assembly, (iii) whether these alterations can improve mother and/or infant health (including immune system and metabolism), (iv) what types of bacterial strains are passed from mother to infant, and whether there are differences tied to post-delivery behaviors, and (v) how toddlers are impacted in terms of weight/growth charts and predisposition to obesity.

Eligible Participants

Our vision is to follow mothers during the length of their pregnancy, and both mother and infants through their first 12-18 months of the babies’ lives, assessing their biosamples (stool and blood) at a rate of approximately every 2-4 months.

Study Design

We will design this study as a parallel design trial in which 100 pregnant women will be randomly assigned to one of three groups (fermented food, high-fiber, or fermented + fiber). Changes in food patterns and behaviors and dietary intake assessment will be addressed using multiple tools employed successfully over dozens of studies by the Nutrition Studies Group.

We are deeply appreciative of the generous support of Laura and Michael Paulus of Peak Health Capital for their interest in better understanding the impact of using diet as a lever to prevent disease and improve health, beginning with gaining a clearer understanding of the trans-generational transmission of microbiome to infants.

Please check back for updates as this study develops.

If you have questions, please email nutrition@stanford.edu.