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Walk slowly don’t run!! Eat low low carb and high fat and have a fabulous pregnancy!!

May 14, 2015

Dr. Fox responds to the following article:
This is yet another study pointing to the whole insulin resistance picture.  From our experience we know if women gain too much weight in pregnancy(>30lbs) it tells us they have insulin resistance without exception.  These women also tend to have diabetes and high blood pressure in pregnancy.  So the outcome is not at all unexpected in our minds but it seems that mainstream medicine still seems so surprised by these findings???  Two issues are potentially at work here:
First, it is not widely believed in the metabolic and scientific research community that epigenetics (genes we all possess are turned on by the environment) is at work here.  In this line of reasoning, signals from the mother to the fetus “turn on” the insulin resistance / metabolic syndrome cascade and result in obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes etc…  In my view this signal is one of three things or a combination.  Increased carbohydrate stimulation of mother increases insulin that increases male hormone production from the pregnant ovary.  In addition to stimulating metabolic syndrome gene, this phenomenon is also likely to change a female fetus both mentally and physically and likely is affecting almost all pregnancies to some degree.
A second likely factor are stress hormones such as cortisol.  In a high carb diet pregnant women (and non pregnant) experience repetitive hypoglycemia also producing the nausea and cravings of pregnancy.  This “starvation stress signal probably is related to a communication to the fetus that maybe food supplies are deficient in the local environment of the mother and therefore a fat storage gene activation could be species preserving.
The last likely factor would be fetal insulin stimulated by hyperglycemia in the mother.  Again, excessive weight gain in pregnancy denotes the hyperglycemia / hypoglycemia pattern of insulin resistance in the mother. The excessive blood glucose stimulates the fetal insulin response and likely fetal hypoglycemia with activation of the fetal stress system.  Again read by nature as a problem that needs a response and the obesity genetic cascade is turned on.
Using traditional genetic theory, one would also assume that if the mother had the “insulin resistance gene” that the child would likely have it as well due to straight inheritance of the gene.  The epigenetic theory is becoming a more popular idea since energy metabolism is such a vital part of the human life story.  It would make sense then that all humans would have the capacity to “protect themselves” against starvation through the activation of the insulin resistance system.
To me it is truly sad that in this article nutrition was only alluded to indirectly by saying “don’t gain too much weight.”  The focus was again exercise which truly is a small part of the picture and too much aerobic exercise will also activate the stress system.  “Walk slowly don’t run!!  Eat low low carb and high fat and have a fabulous pregnancy!!
If women had any inkling of the destructive nature of the “American diet” on their babies, there would be a national outcry to change the food supply overnight.  We worry about little things like fish consumption and plastics exposure but not about toxic food exposures.
Just thoughts……
Dr. Fox
Michael D. Fox, MD
Jacksonville Center
Reproductive Medicine 

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