Association study between hypothalamic functional connectivity, early nutrition, and glucose levels in healthy children aged 6 years: The COGNIS study follow-up
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AuthorDiéguez Castillo, Estefanía; Nieto Ruiz, Ana María; Herrmann, Florian; Catena Martínez, Andrés; García Santos, José Antonio; García Bermúdez, María Mercedes; Campoy Folgoso, Cristina
NeuroimagingHypothalamusMean glucose levelsMilk fat globule membrane (MFGM)Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs)SynbioticsEating behavior
Diéguez E... [et al.] (2022) Association study between hypothalamic functional connectivity, early nutrition, and glucose levels in healthy children aged 6 years: The COGNIS study follow-up. Front. Nutr. 9:935740. doi: [10.3389/fnut.2022.935740]
SponsorshipRandox Laboratories; S.L. Contract University of Granada General Foundation; Spanish Government 3349; Contract University of Granada General Foundation 3349; European Commission CIEN-IDI-20141206; Junta de Andalucia Consejeria de Transformacion Economica, Industria, Conocimiento y Universidades 4003; Fundacion Carolina, Madrid, Spain 633595 404
Breastfeeding (BF) is the gold standard in infant nutrition; knowing how it influences brain connectivity would help understand the mechanisms involved, which would help close the nutritional gap between infant formulas and breast milk. We analyzed potential long-term differences depending on the diet with an experimental infant formula (EF), compared to a standard infant formula (SF) or breastfeeding (BF) during the first 18 months of life on children's hypothalamic functional connectivity (FC) assessed at 6 years old. A total of 62 children participating in the COGNIS randomized clinical trial (Clinical Trial Registration: www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT02094547) were included in this study. They were randomized to receive an SF (n = 22) or a bioactive nutrient-enriched EF (n = 20). BF children were also included as a control study group (BF: n = 20). Brain function was evaluated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and mean glucose levels were collected through a 24-h continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device at 6 years old. Furthermore, nutrient intake was also analyzed during the first 18 months of life and at 6 years old through 3-day dietary intake records. Groups fed with EF and BF showed lower FC between the medial hypothalamus (MH) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in comparison with SF-fed children. Moreover, the BF children group showed lower FC between the MH and the left putamen extending to the middle insula, and higher FC between the MH and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) compared to the EF-fed children group. These areas are key regions within the salience network, which is involved in processing salience stimuli, eating motivation, and hedonic-driven desire to consume food. Indeed, current higher connectivity found on the MH-IFG network in the BF group was associated with lower simple sugars acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges (AMDRs) at 6 months of age. Regarding linoleic acid intake at 12 months old, a negative association with this network (MH-IFG) only in the BF group was found. In addition, BF children showed lower mean glucose levels compared to SF-fed children at 6 years old. Our results may point out a possible relationship between diet during the first 18 months of life and inclined proclivity for hedonic eating later in life.