Category Archives: Pregnancy

Potential link between PFCs and obesity in later life

An Emory University research team led by Dr. Michelle Marcus recently explored the association between exposure to polyfluoralkyl compounds (PFCs) during fetal development and body weight at age 20 months.  Their results indicated that the infants of 447 women who had increased PFC exposures during pregnancy were smaller than average at birth, and by 20 months of age were larger than average.  This research adds to the wealth of literature documenting the effects of environmental exposures on future health, and in particular adds to a growing body of evidence that points towards a connection between obesity and PFC exposure.  For more information about the study, please visit:

Microbiome changes over the course of pregnancy

The role of the microbiome in human health is of increasing interest in the scientific community.  A study led by Dr. Ruth Ley from Cornell University that analyzed fecal samples from 91 women across their gestational period identified that the maternal microbiome changes significantly over the course of pregnancy.  The women’s individual microbiomes became less diverse as pregnancy ensued, though as a group the total number of bacterial species present was greatest during the final trimester.  Additionally, the changes in gut microbiota during each stage of pregnancy were correlated with the degree of fat and inflammation exhibited by the women.

For additional commentary about the study, The Scientist provides a review of the study and interviews with the research team and other subject matter experts.  The scientific article was published in Cell.