Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Removing the no-analogue bias in modern accelerated tree growth leads to stronger medieval drought
Scharnweber, Tobias ; Heußner, Karl Uwe ; Smiljanic, Marko ; Heinrich, Ingo ; Maaten-Theunissen, Marieke van der; Maaten, Ernst van der; Struwe, Thomas ; Buras, Allan ; Wilmking, Martin - \ 2019
Scientific Reports 9 (2019)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

In many parts of the world, especially in the temperate regions of Europe and North-America, accelerated tree growth rates have been observed over the last decades. This widespread phenomenon is presumably caused by a combination of factors like atmospheric fertilization or changes in forest structure and/or management. If not properly acknowledged in the calibration of tree-ring based climate reconstructions, considerable bias concerning amplitudes and trends of reconstructed climatic parameters might emerge or low frequency information is lost. Here we present a simple but effective, data-driven approach to remove the recent non-climatic growth increase in tree-ring data. Accounting for the no-analogue calibration problem, a new hydroclimatic reconstruction for northern-central Europe revealed considerably drier conditions during the medieval climate anomaly (MCA) compared with standard reconstruction methods and other existing reconstructions. This demonstrates the necessity to account for fertilization effects in modern tree-ring data from affected regions before calibrating reconstruction models, to avoid biased results.

Archeologisch onderzoek in de omgeving van het prehistorische vuursteenmijnveld te Rijckholt - St.Geertruid : De resultaten van 2011, 2012 en 2013
Brinkkemper, O. ; Bruinink, A.C. ; Deeben, J. ; Guralnik, B. ; Hoebe, P. ; Huisman, H. ; Kort, J.W. de; Laarman, F. ; Meirvenne, M. van; Orbons, J. ; Os, B. van; Parys, V. van; Schreurs, J. ; Theunissen, L. ; Verhegge, J. ; Versendaal, Alice ; Wallinga, J. - \ 2018
Amersfoort : Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed - ISBN 9789057993022 - 371 p.
Periconceptional maternal dairy-rich dietary pattern is associated with prenatal cerebellar growth
Parisi, Francesca ; Rousian, Melek ; Koning, Irene V. ; Willemsen, Sten P. ; Vries, Jeanne H.M. De; Steegers, Eric A.P. ; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P.M. - \ 2018
PLoS ONE 13 (2018)5. - ISSN 1932-6203

Background Maternal nutrition during pregnancy has been related to intrauterine brain development and neurodevelopmental disabilities in adult life. We aim to investigate associations between periconceptional maternal dietary patterns and prenatal cerebellar growth from the first trimester onwards. Materials and methods 126 women with singleton non-malformed pregnancies were enrolled before 8 weeks of gestation in the Rotterdam periconceptional cohort between 2013 and 2015. Periconceptional maternal dietary patterns were extracted from food frequency questionnaires and associated with blood biomarkers and micronutrient intakes. Serial two-dimensional and three-dimensional ultrasound scans were performed at 9, 11, 22, 26 and 32 weeks of gestation for transcerebellar diameter (TCD) measurement. Linear mixed models were estimated to investigate associations between periconceptional maternal dietary patterns and longitudinal TCD measurements as a function of gestational age. Results We performed a median of 4 scans per pregnancy, resulting in 570 total datasets. The success rate of TCD measurements was 87% (range 65–100%), depending on gestational age. The Mediterranean, Western, egg-rich and dairy-rich dietary patterns were extracted, explaining 37.2% of the overall variance of food intake in this population. The dairy-rich dietary pattern was positively associated with cerebellar growth trajectories (β = 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01; 0.03) pmm, p = 0.01). Maternal strong adherence to this dietary pattern increased TCD measurements by 0.8 standard deviation scores (SDs) compared to weak adherence, reflected in increased TCD estimates of 0.44 mm at 9 weeks (+6.8%), 0.88 mm at 22 weeks (+3.6%), and 1.17 mm at 32 weeks (+2.8%). No significant associations were detected for the Mediterranean, Western and egg-rich dietary patterns. Conclusions This study shows a positive association between periconceptional maternal adherence to a dairy-rich dietary pattern and human prenatal TCD measurements as a proxy of cerebellar growth. Next step is the investigation of the impact on neurodevelopmental outcomes in the offspring.

Early first trimester maternal ‘high fish and olive oil and low meat’ dietary pattern is associated with accelerated human embryonic development
Parisi, Francesca ; Rousian, Melek ; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P.M. ; Koning, Anton H.J. ; Willemsen, Sten P. ; Vries, Jeanne H.M. de; Cetin, Irene ; Steegers, Eric A.P. - \ 2018
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (2018). - ISSN 0954-3007 - p. 1655 - 1662.
Background/objectives: Maternal dietary patterns were associated with embryonic growth and congenital anomalies. We aim to evaluate associations between early first trimester maternal dietary patterns and embryonic morphological development among pregnancies with non-malformed outcome. Subjects/methods: A total of 228 strictly dated, singleton pregnancies without congenital malformations were enrolled in a periconceptional hospital-based cohort. Principal component analysis was performed to extract early first trimester maternal dietary patterns from food frequency questionnaires. Serial transvaginal three-dimensional ultrasound (3D US) scans were performed between 6+0 and 10+2 gestational weeks and internal and external morphological criteria were used to define Carnegie stages in a virtual reality system. Associations between dietary patterns and Carnegie stages were investigated using linear mixed models. Results: A total of 726 3D US scans were included (median: three scans per pregnancy). The ‘high fish and olive oil and low meat’ dietary pattern was associated with accelerated embryonic development in the study population (β = 0.12 (95%CI: 0.00; 0.24), p < 0.05). Weak adherence to this dietary pattern delayed embryonic development by 2.1 days (95%CI: 1.6; 2.6) compared to strong adherence. The ‘high vegetables, fruit and grain’ dietary pattern accelerated embryonic development in the strictly dated spontaneous pregnancy subgroup without adjustment for energy intake. Conclusions: Early first trimester maternal dietary patterns impacts human embryonic morphological development among pregnancies without congenital malformations. The clinical meaning of delayed embryonic development needs further investigation.
Periconceptional maternal ‘high fish and olive oil, low meat’ dietary pattern is associated with increased embryonic growth : The Rotterdam Periconceptional Cohort (Predict) Study
Parisi, F. ; Rousian, M. ; Huijgen, N.A. ; Koning, A.H.J. ; Willemsen, S.P. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Cetin, I. ; Steegers, E.A.P. ; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2017
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 50 (2017)6. - ISSN 0960-7692 - p. 709 - 716.
3D ultrasound - crown–rump length - embryonic volume - first trimester - maternal dietary patterns - periconceptional period - virtual reality
Objective: To investigate the association between periconceptional maternal dietary pattern and first-trimester embryonic growth. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of 228 women with a singleton ongoing pregnancy, of which 135 were strictly dated spontaneous pregnancies and 93 were pregnancies achieved after in-vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI). All women underwent serial transvaginal three-dimensional ultrasound (3D-US) examinations from 6 + 0 to 13 + 0 weeks' gestation. Crown–rump length (CRL) and embryonic volume (EV) measurements were performed using a virtual reality system. Information on periconceptional maternal dietary intake was collected via food frequency questionnaires. Principal component analysis was performed to identify dietary patterns. Associations between dietary patterns and CRL and EV trajectories were investigated using linear mixed models adjusted for potential confounders. Results: A median of five (range, one to seven) 3D-US scans per pregnancy were performed. Of 1162 datasets, quality was sufficient to perform CRL measurements in 991 (85.3%) and EV measurements in 899 (77.4%). A dietary pattern comprising high intake of fish and olive oil and a very low intake of meat was identified as beneficial for embryonic growth. In strictly dated spontaneous pregnancies, strong adherence to the ‘high fish and olive oil, low meat’ dietary pattern was associated with a 1.9 mm (95% CI, 0.1–3.63 mm) increase in CRL (+14.6%) at 7 weeks and a 3.4 mm (95% CI, 0.2–7.81 mm) increase (+6.9%) at 11 weeks, whereas EV increased by 0.06 cm3 (95% CI, 0.01–0.13 cm3) (+20.4%) at 7 weeks and 1.43 cm3 (95% CI, 0.99–1.87 cm3) (+14.4%) at 11 weeks. No significant association was observed in the total study population or in the IVF/ICSI subgroup. Conclusion: Periconceptional maternal adherence to a high fish and olive oil, low meat dietary pattern is positively associated with embryonic growth in spontaneously conceived pregnancies.
Dietary patterns and the phenotype of polycystic ovary syndrome : The chance of ongoing pregnancy
Huijgen, Nicole A. ; Louwers, Yvonne V. ; Willemsen, Sten P. ; Vries, Jeanne H.M. de; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P.M. ; Laven, Joop S.E. - \ 2017
Reproductive BioMedicine Online 34 (2017)6. - ISSN 1472-6483 - p. 668 - 676.
AMH - Dietary pattern - Hyperandrogenism - Ongoing pregnancy - PCOS - Phenotype
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is generally considered a complex disorder caused by interactions between genetic and environmental factors. In a sub-cohort of women with PCOS visiting the preconception outpatient clinic of a tertiary hospital with follow-up in a periconception cohort, we identified specific dietary patterns and adherence in patients with PCOS with and without hyperandrogenism and the chance of ongoing pregnancy. Food frequency questionnaires were available from 55 patients diagnosed with PCOS during follow-up in routine clinical practice, including 25 with hyperandrogenism and 30 without hyperandrogenism. Strong adherence to the healthy dietary pattern was inversely associated with the hyperandrogenic PCOS phenotype (Adjusted OR 0.27; 95% CI 0.07 to 0.99). In women with PCOS overall, a strong adherence to the healthy dietary pattern showed a three-fold higher chance of ongoing pregnancy (adjusted OR 3.38; 95% CI 1.01 to 11.36) and an association with anti-Müllerian hormone concentration (β -0.569 μg/L; 95% CI -0.97 to -0.17). The effect of this dietary pattern on the chance of ongoing pregnancy and AMH suggests causality, which needs further investigation in prospective studies in the general population.
Strong adherence to a healthy dietary pattern is associated with better semen quality, especially in men with poor semen quality
Oostingh, Elsje C. ; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P.M. ; Vries, Jeanne H.M. de; Laven, Joop S.E. ; Koster, Maria P.H. - \ 2017
Fertility and Sterility 107 (2017)4. - ISSN 0015-0282 - p. 916 - 923.e2.
Dietary pattern - Male subfertility - Semen analysis
Objective: To study associations between periconceptional dietary patterns and semen quality parameters. Design: Prospective periconception cohort study. Setting: Tertiary hospital. Patient(s): One hundred and twenty-nine male partners of pregnant women who participated in the Rotterdam Periconception Cohort (Predict study). Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Semen quality parameters-ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, progressive motility, immotile sperm, and total motile sperm count (TMSC). Result(s): Men included in our study were on average 35 (±6 standard deviation) years old and had a body mass index of 26.4 ± 4 kg/m2. Two dietary patterns were identified using principle component analysis, which were labeled as "healthy" and "unhealthy." An increase of one factor score (stated as β) represented an increase of 1 standard deviation. Sperm concentration (β = 0.278; 95% CI, 0.112-0.444), total sperm count (β = 1.369; 95% CI, 0.244-2.495), progressive motility (β = 4.305; 95% CI, 0.675-7.936), and TMSC (β = 0.319; 95% CI, 0.113-0.526) were all positively associated with a strong adherence to the healthy dietary pattern. Subgroup analysis showed that these associations were mainly present in men with a TMSC
Species distribution models predict temporal but not spatial variation in forest growth
Maaten, Ernest van der; Hamann, A. ; Maaten-Theunissen, M. van der; Bergsma, A.R. ; Hengeveld, G.M. ; Lammeren, R.J.A. van; Mohren, G.M.J. ; Nabuurs, G.J. ; Terhürne, R.L. ; Sterck, F.J. - \ 2017
Ecology and Evolution 7 (2017)8. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 2585 - 2594.
Bioclimate envelope models have been widely used to illustrate the discrepancy between current species distributions and their potential habitat under climate change. However, the realism and correct interpretation of such projections has been the subject of considerable discussion. Here, we investigate whether climate suitability predictions correlate to tree growth, measured in permanent inventory plots and inferred from tree-ring records. We use the ensemble classifier RandomForest and species occurrence data from ~200,000 inventory plots to build species distribution models for four important European forestry species: Norway spruce, Scots pine, European beech, and pedunculate oak. We then correlate climate-based habitat suitability with volume measurements from ~50-year-old stands, available from ~11,000 inventory plots. Secondly, habitat projections based on annual historical climate are compared with ring width from ~300 tree-ring chronologies. Our working hypothesis is that habitat suitability projections from species distribution models should to some degree be associated with temporal or spatial variation in these growth records. We find that the habitat projections are uncorrelated with spatial growth records (inventory plot data), but they do predict interannual variation in tree-ring width, with an average correlation of .22. Correlation coefficients for individual chronologies range from values as high as .82 or as low as −.31. We conclude that tree responses to projected climate change are highly site-specific and that local suitability of a species for reforestation is difficult to predict. That said, projected increase or decrease in climatic suitability may be interpreted as an average expectation of increased or reduced growth over larger geographic scales.
Novel APplications for Polybutylene Succinate
Theunissen, Lawrence ; Koning, Alan ; Speklé, Arjan ; Molenveld, K. - \ 2016
Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a relatively new polymer, with interesting features that are attractive for a broad range of applications. At present PBS is (predominantly) produced from petrochemical sources. It is mainly applied in areas where biodegradability is an advantage like in packaging (films and boxes) and agriculture (mulch films). The development and expansion of the production capacity of bio-based succinic acid allows the production of (50%) bio-based PBS already today, and production of 100% bio-based PBS is feasible with a further transition to bio-based butanediol. Additionally, with technology maturing further and production scales increasing the price of PBS will steadily decrease over the coming years.
Archeologische Landschappenkaart van Nederland
Rensink, E. ; Weerts, H.J.T. ; Kosian, M.C. ; Feiken, H. ; Smit, B.I. ; Doesburg, J. van; Groenewoudt, B.J. ; Lascaris, M. ; Lauwerier, R.C.G.M. ; Brounen, F.T.S. ; Cohen, K.M. ; Heiden, M. van der; Jansen, D. ; Maas, G.J. ; Theunissen, E.M. ; Vreenegoor, E. - \ 2015
archeologie - landschapsarcheologie - geologie - geomorfologie - cultuurhistorie - Indicatieve Kaart Archeologische Waarden
Het betreft de volledige digitale dataset van het project ‘Archeologische Landschappenkaart van Nederland’ , onderdeel van het programma Kenniskaart Archeologie van de Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (RCE). Het project is uitgevoerd van november 2013 tot en met mei 2015 door medewerkers van de afdeling Landschap en de afdeling Archeologie van de Rijksdienst. De kaart maakt de landschappelijke en hiermee verbonden archeologische diversiteit van Nederland inzichtelijk. Het kaartbeeld is zowel landschappelijk als archeologisch relevant en betekenisvol op nationale schaal. Anders geformuleerd: de op de Archeologische Landschappenkaart afgebeelde ruimtelijke eenheden (landschappen en landschapszones) zijn ook uit archeologische oogpunt onderscheidend. Op de Archeologische Landschappenkaart worden 26 landschappen onderscheiden en daarbinnen landschapszones. Deze zoneringen zijn niet alleen gebaseerd op landschappelijke kenmerken, maar ook op verwachte archeologische verschillen. Ze kunnen daarom helpen om archeologische verwachtingen toe te kennen. Daarnaast helpt de kaart om de juiste methoden en technieken te bepalen waarmee deze verwachte archeologische resten het beste kunnen worden opgespoord. De kaart wordt gebruikt voor de projecten Verwachtingen in lagen en Best practices prospectie van de RCE.
Interview Liesbeth Bolhuis
Bolhuis, J.E. - \ 2014
In: Eten voor je kind / Boer, K., van Ruitenburg, A., Steegers-Theunissen, R., Hilversum : Fontaine Uitgevers - ISBN 9789059565180 - p. 172 - 173.
Climate change and European forests: What do we know, what are the uncertainties, and what are the implications for forest management?
Lindner, M. ; Fitzgerald, J.B. ; Zimmermann, N.E. ; Reyer, C. ; Delzon, S. ; Maaten, E. van der; Schelhaas, M. ; Lasch, P. ; Eggers, J. ; Maaten-Theunissen, M. van der; Suckow, F. ; Psomas, A. ; Pouler, B. ; Hanewinkel, M. - \ 2014
Journal of Environmental Management 146 (2014). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 69 - 83.
water-use efficiency - change impacts - elevated co2 - change risks - face sites - scots pine - drought - carbon - shift - trees
The knowledge about potential climate change impacts on forests is continuously expanding and some changes in growth, drought induced mortality and species distribution have been observed. However despite a significant body of research, a knowledge and communication gap exists between scientists and non-scientists as to how climate change impact scenarios can be interpreted and what they imply for European forests. It is still challenging to advise forest decision makers on how best to plan for climate change as many uncertainties and unknowns remain and it is difficult to communicate these to practitioners and other decision makers while retaining emphasis on the importance of planning for adaptation. In this paper, recent developments in climate change observations and projections, observed and projected impacts on European forests and the associated uncertainties are reviewed and synthesised with a view to understanding the implications for forest management. Current impact assessments with simulation models contain several simplifications, which explain the discrepancy between results of many simulation studies and the rapidly increasing body of evidence about already observed changes in forest productivity and species distribution. In simulation models uncertainties tend to cascade onto one another; from estimating what future societies will be like and general circulation models (GCMs) at the global level, down to forest models and forest management at the local level. Individual climate change impact studies should not be uncritically used for decision-making without reflection on possible shortcomings in system understanding, model accuracy and other assumptions made. It is important for decision makers in forest management to realise that they have to take long-lasting management decisions while uncertainty about climate change impacts are still large. We discuss how to communicate about uncertainty - which is imperative for decision making - without diluting the overall message. Considering the range of possible trends and uncertainties in adaptive forest management requires expert knowledge and enhanced efforts for providing science-based decision support.
Dynamic changes in energy metabolism upon embryonic stem cell differentiation support developmental toxicant identification
Dartel, D.A.M. van; Schulpen, S.H. ; Theunissen, P.T. ; Bunschoten, A. ; Piersma, A.H. ; Keijer, J. - \ 2014
Toxicology 324 (2014). - ISSN 0300-483X - p. 76 - 87.
gene-expression - neural differentiation - proliferation - toxicity - cardiomyocytes - normalization - glycolysis - genomics - protocol - biology
Embryonic stem cells (ESC) are widely used to study embryonic development and to identify developmental toxicants. Particularly, the embryonic stem cell test (EST) is well known as in vitro model to identify developmental toxicants. Although it is clear that energy metabolism plays a crucial role in embryonic development, the modulation of energy metabolism in in vitro models, such as the EST, is not yet described. The present study is among the first studies that analyses whole genome expression data to specifically characterize metabolic changes upon ESC early differentiation. Our transcriptomic analyses showed activation of glycolysis, truncated activation of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, activation of lipid synthesis, as well as activation of glutaminolysis during the early phase of ESC differentiation. Taken together, this energy metabolism profile points towards energy metabolism reprogramming in the provision of metabolites for biosynthesis of cellular constituents. Next, we defined a gene set that describes this energy metabolism profile. We showed that this gene set could be successfully applied in the EST to identify developmental toxicants known to modulate cellular biosynthesis (5-fluorouracil and methoxyacetic acid), while other developmental toxicants or the negative control did not modulate the expression of this gene set. Our description of dynamic changes in energy metabolism during early ESC differentiation, as well as specific identification of developmental toxicants modulating energy metabolism, is an important step forward in the definition of the applicability domain of the EST.
Dietary vitamin A intake below the recommended daily intake during pregnancy and the risk of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in the offspring
Beurskens, L.W.J.E. ; Schrijver, L.H. ; Tibboel, D. ; Wildhagen, M.F. ; Knapen, M.F.C.M. ; Lindemans, J. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2013
Birth Defects Res. Part A-Clin. Mol. Teratol. 97 (2013)1. - ISSN 1542-9768 - p. 60 - 66.
BACKGROUND Vitamin A has been related to the etiology of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). We performed a case-control study to investigate whether maternal dietary vitamin A intake is related to CDH in the offspring. METHODS Thirty-one pregnancies diagnosed with CDH and 46 control pregnancies were included during the study. After CDH diagnosis and inclusion of controls by risk set sampling, maternal vitamin A intake was investigated with a food frequency questionnaire. Serum retinol and retinol-binding protein were determined. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate risk estimates with adjustment for potential confounders. RESULTS We found no significant differences in the overall nutrient and vitamin A intake between case and control mothers. After stratification in body mass index (BMI) categories, case mothers with normal weight showed a lower energy adjusted vitamin A intake (685 vs. 843 mu g retinol activity equivalents [RAEs] / day; p = 0.04) and a slightly lower serum retinol (1.58 vs. 1.67 mu mol/L; p = 0.08) than control mothers. Vitamin A intake
Complementary Detection of Embryotoxic Properties of Substances in the Neural and Cardiac Embryonic Stem Cell Tests
Theunissen, P.T. ; Pennings, J.L.A. ; Dartel, D.A.M. van; Robinson, J.F. ; Kleinjans, J.C.S. ; Piersma, A.H. - \ 2013
Toxicological sciences 132 (2013)1. - ISSN 1096-6080 - p. 118 - 130.
retinoic acid - in-vitro - gene-expression - developmental toxicity - reproductive toxicants - response evaluation - vitamin-a - test estn - differentiation - models
In developmental toxicity testing, in vitro screening assays are highly needed to increase efficiency and to reduce animal use. A promising in vitro assay is the cardiac embryonic stem cell test (ESTc), in which the effect of developmental toxicants on cardiomyocyte differentiation is assessed. Recently, we developed a neural differentiation variant of the stem cell test (neural embryonic stem cell test [ESTn]). In both of these models, we have previously performed a series of transcriptomic studies to characterize gene expression changes (1) across time during normal differentiation and (2) in response to a series of developmental toxicants in the ESTn and ESTc. Here, using the cumulative of these studies, we compared gene expression profiles of ESTn and ESTc over time as well as model-specific changes induced by seven compounds, comprising six known in vivo developmental toxicants and one negative control. Time-related gene expression profiles showed similarities between the two EST systems. However, specific genes could be identified changing over time differently in each model related to the two different lineages of differentiation. Interestingly, compound-induced gene expression changes were generally model specific, especially for methylmercury and flusilazole, which were predicted better in ESTn and ESTc, respectively. Valproic acidinduced gene expression changes were most comparable out of the six developmental toxicants between the ESTn and ESTc. Direct transcriptomic comparisons between the ESTn and ESTc indicate that combined transcriptomic analyses support and complement each other. Therefore, a combined approach incorporating ESTc and ESTn may improve developmental toxicant detection over individual assays.
A maternal dietary pattern characterised by fish and seafood in association with the risk of congenital heart defects in the offspring
Obermann-Borst, S.A. ; Vujkovic, M. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Wildhagen, M.F. ; Looman, C.W. ; Jonge, R. de; Steegers, E.A.P. ; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2011
BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 118 (2011)10. - ISSN 1470-0328 - p. 1205 - 1215.
folic-acid supplements - neural-tube defects - nutritional-status - gene-expression - energy-intake - homocysteine - methylation - pregnancy - methionine - period
Objective To identify maternal dietary patterns related to biomarkers of methylation and to investigate associations between these dietary patterns and the risk of congenital heart defects (CHDs) in the offspring. Design Case–control study. Setting Western part of the Netherlands, 2003–08. Population One hundred and seventy-nine mothers of children with CHD and 231 mothers of children without a congenital malformation. Methods Food intake was obtained by food frequency questionnaires. The reduced rank regression method was used to identify dietary patterns related to the biomarker concentrations of methylation in blood. Main outcome measures Dietary patterns, vitamin B and homocysteine concentrations, biomarkers of methylation (S-adenosylmethionine [SAM] and S-adenosylhomocysteine [SAH]) and the risk of CHD estimated by odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results The one-carbon-poor dietary pattern, comprising a high intake of snacks, sugar-rich products and beverages, was associated with SAH (ß = 0.92, P <0.001). The one-carbon-rich dietary pattern with high fish and seafood intake was associated with SAM (ß = 0.44, P <0.001) and inversely with SAH (ß = -0.08, P <0.001). Strong adherence to this dietary pattern resulted in higher serum (P <0.05) and red blood cell (P <0.01) folate and a reduced risk of CHD in offspring: odds ratio, 0.3 (95% confidence interval, 0.2–0.6). Conclusions The one-carbon-rich dietary pattern, characterised by the high intake of fish and seafood, is associated with a reduced risk of CHD. This finding warrants further investigation in a randomised intervention trial.
Increased preconception omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake improves embryo morphology
Hammiche, F. ; Vujkovic, M. ; Wijburg, W. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Macklon, N.S. ; Laven, J.S.E. ; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2011
Fertility and Sterility 95 (2011)5. - ISSN 0015-0282 - p. 1820 - 1823.
in-vitro fertilization - ovarian stimulation - hormone-levels - holstein cows - energy-intake - dietary-fat - dairy-cows - fish-meal - women - supplementation
The association between preconception dietary intake of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) omega-6 and omega-3 and the E2 levels and IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcome were investigated in women in a prospective study. It revealed that high intakes of omega-3 LC-PUFA alpha-linolenic acid increase baseline E2, high intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid reduce E2 response and the number of follicles after ovarian stimulation, and total omega-3 intake, in particular alpha-linolenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, improve embryo morphology
Tailored preconceptional dietary and lifestyle counselling in a tertiary outpatient clinic in the Netherlands
Hammiche, F. ; Laven, J.S.E. ; Mil, N. van; Cock, M. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Lindemans, J. ; Steegers, E.A.P. ; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2011
Human Reproduction 26 (2011)9. - ISSN 0268-1161 - p. 2432 - 2441.
adverse perinatal outcomes - folic-acid - alcohol-consumption - fetal-growth - risk-factors - spontaneous-abortion - maternal overweight - general-population - physical-activity - seminal plasma
BACKGROUND Adverse reproductive performance has been linked to unhealthy dietary intake and lifestyles. Our objectives were to investigate the prevalence of unhealthy dietary intake and lifestyles before conception and to evaluate whether tailored preconception counselling modifies these behaviours. METHODS Between October 2007 and April 2009, 419 couples received tailored preconception dietary and lifestyle counselling at the outpatient clinic of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands. A subgroup (n = 110 couples) was counselled twice with a fixed time interval of 3 months. Self-administered questionnaires were used for tailored dietary and lifestyle counselling. A cumulative score based on six Dutch dietary guidelines was displayed in the personal Preconception Dietary Risk score (PDR score). In a similar manner, the Rotterdam Reproduction Risk score (R3 score) was calculated from lifestyle factors (women: 13 items, men: 10 items). Univariate and paired tests were used. RESULTS Most couples (93.8%) were subfertile. At the second counselling, the percentage consuming the recommended intake of fruit had increased from 65 to 80 in women and from 49 to 68 in men and the percentage of women getting the recommended intake of fish increased from 39 to 52. As a consequence, the median PDR score was decreased [women: 2.6 (95% CI 2.4–2.9) to 2.4 (95% CI 2.1–2.6), men: 2.5 (95% CI 2.3–2.7) to 2.2 (95% CI 1.9–2.4), both P <0.05]. The median R3 scores were also lower [women: 4.7 (95% CI 4.3–5.0) to 3.1 (95% CI 2.8–3.4), men: 3.0 (95% CI 2.8–3.3) to 2.0 (95% CI 1.7–2.3), both P <0.01] due to less alcohol use (-14.6%), more physical exercise and folic acid use in women, and less alcohol use in men (-19.4%) (all P <0.01). The R3 scores in women and men were decreased in all ethnicity, educational level, neighbourhood and BMI categories. However, low educated women appeared to show a larger reduction than better educated women and men with a normal BMI to show a larger decrease than overweight men. The reduction in the PDR score of women was similar in both ethnic groups. More than 85% women and men found the counselling useful and around 70% would recommend it to others. CONCLUSIONS Tailored preconception counselling about unhealthy dietary and lifestyle behaviours of subfertile couples in an outpatient tertiary clinic is feasible and seems to decrease the prevalence of harmful behaviours in the short term. These results with subfertile couples are promising and illustrate their opportunities to contribute to reproductive performance and pregnancy outcome.
The preconception Mediterranean dietary pattern in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment increases the chance of pregnancy
Vujkovic, M. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Lindemans, J. ; Macklon, N.S. ; Spek, P.J. van der; Steegers, E.A.P. ; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2010
Fertility and Sterility 94 (2010)6. - ISSN 0015-0282 - p. 2096 - 2101.
life-style factors - folic-acid - energy-intake - homocysteine - fertility - folate - implantation - performance - population - impact
Objective: To investigate associations between preconception dietary patterns and IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes validated by biomarkers of the homocysteine pathway. Design: Observational prospective study. Setting: A tertiary referral fertility clinic at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Patient(s): One hundred sixty-one couples undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment. Intervention(s): No interventions other than the Dutch governmental recommendation of folic acid. Main Outcome Measure(s): Dietary patterns, blood and follicular fluid concentrations of folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, homocysteine, and fertilization rate, embryo quality, and pregnancy. Result(s): In women, two dietary patterns were identified. The "health conscious-low processed" dietary pattern (variation explained 12.1%) was characterized by high intakes of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains and low intakes of snacks, meats, and mayonnaise, and positively correlated with red blood cell folate (beta=0.07). The "Mediterranean" dietary pattern (variation explained 9.1%), that is, high intakes of vegetable oils, vegetables, fish, and legumes and low intakes of snacks, was positively correlated with red blood cell folate (beta=0.13), and vitamin B6 in blood (beta=0.09) and follicular fluid (beta=0.18). High adherence by the couple to the "Mediterranean" diet increased the probability of pregnancy, odds ratio 1.4 (95% confidence interval 1.0-1.9). Conclusion(s): A preconception "Mediterranean" diet by couples undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment contributes to the success of achieving pregnancy. (Fertil Steril (R) 2010; 94: 2096-101. (C) 2010 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)
The preconception nutritional status of women undergoing fertility treatment: Use of a one-year post-delivery assessment
Driel, L.M.J.W. van; Zwolle, L.J.H. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Boxmeer, J.C. ; Lindemans, J. ; Steegers, E.A.P. ; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. - \ 2010
e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism 5 (2010)6. - ISSN 1751-4991 - p. e284 - e291.
Background&Aims - A poor maternal nutritional status in the preconception period is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. A valid standardized assessment period after pregnancy reflecting the preconception nutritional status is missing. Therefore, this study aimed to validate the assessment period at around 1 year after delivery in women undergoing fertility treatment. Methods - In a prospective study including 30 women with a fertility problem, we compared nutrient intakes from a food frequency questionnaire and biomarkers related to the homocysteine pathway in blood, at two assessment periods, i.e., preconceptionally and 1 year after delivery. We used a linear mixed model and adjusted for possible confounders, such as body mass index and folic acid supplement use. Results - The energy-adjusted nutrient intakes were not significantly different between the two assessment periods, except for higher retinol, alcohol and vitamin B2 and lower carbohydrate intakes at around 1 year after delivery. The intraclass correlation coefficients of the nutrients ranged from 0.3 to 0.7. After adjustment, none of the biomarkers was significantly different between the two assessment periods. The intraclass correlation coefficients of the biomarkers were all =0.5. Conclusions - An assessment at around 1 year after delivery seems to adequately reflect the preconception nutritional status of women with a fertility problem, however larger confirmatory studies are required.
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