Management of reproduction and pregnancy complications in maternal obesity: Which role for dietary polyphenols?



Obesity is a global and dramatic public health problem; maternal obesity represents one of the main risk factors of infertility and pregnancy complications as it is associated with adverse maternal and offspring outcomes. In the last few years, adipose tissue dysfunction associated with altered adipocytokine secretion has been suggested to play a critical role in all the phases of reproductive process. Obesity is a nutrition-related disorder. In this regard, dietary intervention strategies, such as high intake of fruit and vegetables, have shown significant effects in both preserving health and counteracting obesity-associated diseases. Evidence has been provided that polyphenols, important constituents of plant-derived food, can influence developmental program of oocyte and embryo, as well as pregnancy progression by modulating several cellular pathways. This review will examine the controversial results so far obtained on adipocytokine involvement in fertility impairment and pregnancy complications. Furthermore, the different effects exerted by polyphenols on oocyte, embryo, and pregnancy development will be also taken in account. © 2013 BioFactors, 40(1):79–102, 2014