Perspective: Organic Food Consumption During Pregnancy and the Potential Effects on Maternal and Offspring Health
Pregnancy represents a critical window for both maternal and child health. Previous studies have shown that the consumption of an organic diet during pregnancy can reduce pesticide exposure compared with the consumption of a conventional diet. It is possible that this could, in turn, improve pregnancy outcomes, because maternal pesticide exposure during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of pregnancy complications. Organic foods are produced by methods that comply with organic standards, generally restricting the use of agrochemicals, such as synthetic pesticides. In the past few decades, the global demand for organic foods has increased drastically, driven in large part by consumer beliefs that organic foods provide benefits to human health. However, the effects of organic food consumption during pregnancy on maternal and child health have not been established. This narrative review aims to summarize current evidence regarding the consumption of organic foods during pregnancy and the potential effects on short- and long-term health outcomes in mothers and offspring. We performed a comprehensive literature search and identified studies investigating the association between organic food consumption during pregnancy and health outcomes in mothers and their offspring. The outcomes identified from the literature search included pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, hypospadias, cryptorchidism, and otitis media. Although existing studies suggest that consumption of organic foods (overall or a specific kind) during pregnancy may have health benefits, further investigation to replicate the findings in other populations is needed. Moreover, because these previous studies have all been observational and thus may be limited by the potential for residual confounding and reverse causation, causal inference cannot be established. We argue that the next necessary step in this research is a randomized trial to test the efficacy of organic diet intervention in pregnancy on maternal and offspring health.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Liu, Buyun; Curl, Cynthia L.; Brantsaeter, Anne Lise; Torjusen, Hanne; Sun, Yangbo; Du, Yang; . . . and Bao, Wei. (2023). "Perspective: Organic Food Consumption During Pregnancy and the Potential Effects on Maternal and Offspring Health". Advances in Nutrition, 14(1), 12-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advnut.2022.11.001
For a complete list of authors, please see the article.