Maternal nutrition intake during pregnancy may affect the mother-to-child transmission of bacteria, resulting in gut microflora changes in the offspring, with long-term health consequences in later life. Longitudinal human studies are lacking, as only a small amount of studies showing the effect of nutrition intake during pregnancy on the gut microbiome of infants have been performed, and these studies have been mainly conducted on animals. This pilot study explores the effects of high or low fruit and vegetable gestational intake on the infant microbiome. We enrolled pregnant women with a complete 3-day dietary record and received postpartum follow-up. The 16S rRNA gene sequence was used to characterize the infant gut microbiome at 2 months (n = 39). Principal coordinate analysis ordination revealed that the infant gut microbiome clustered differently for high and low maternal fruit and vegetable consumption (p < 0.001). The linear discriminant analysis effect size and feature selection identified 6 and 17 taxa from both the high and low fruit and vegetable consumption groups. Among the 23 abundant taxa, we observed that six maternal intake nutrients were associated with nine taxa (e.g., Erysipelatoclostridium, Isobaculum, Lachnospiraceae, Betaprote-obacteria, Burkholderiaceae, Sutterella, Clostridia, Clostridiales, and Lachnoclostridium). The amount of gestational fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with distinct changes in the infant gut microbiome at 2 months of age. Therefore, strategies involving increased fruit and vegetable consumption during pregnancy should be employed for modifying the gut microbiome early in life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1559
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Fruits
  • Infant gut microbiome
  • Nutrients
  • Pregnancy
  • Vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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