Melnik BC, John S, Schmitz G. - 46198 N - J Transl Med 2015 ; 13(1) : 13.

Milk consumption during pregnancy increases birth weight, a risk factor for the development of diseases of civilization

Antenatal dietary lifestyle intervention and nutrition during pregnancy and early postnatal life are important for appropriate lifelong metabolic programming. Epidemiological evidence underlines the crucial role of increased birth weight as a risk factor for the development of chronic diseases of civilization such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. Obstetricians and general practitioners usually recommend milk consumption during pregnancy as a nutrient enriched in valuable proteins and calcium for bone growth. However, milk is not just a simple nutrient, but has been recognized to function as an endocrine signaling system promoting anabolism and postnatal growth by activating the nutrient-sensitive kinase mTORC1. Moreover, pasteurized cow inverted question marks milk transfers biologically active exosomal microRNAs into the systemic circulation of the milk consumer apparently affecting more than 11 000 human genes including the mTORC1-signaling pathway. This review provides literature evidence and evidence derived from translational research that milk consumption during pregnancy increases gestational, placental, fetal and birth weight. Increased birth weight is a risk factor for the development of diseases of civilization thus involving key disciplines of medicine. With regard to the presented evidence we suggest that dietary recommendations promoting milk consumption during pregnancy have to be re-evaluated.