Chocolate feeding of pregnant mice influences
length of limbs of their progeny

Dept. Histol. Embryol.
Biostructure Center,
Chalubinskiego 5, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland.
Pol J Vet Sci. 2003;6(3 Suppl):57-9.


We previously reported the inhibitory effect of various methyloxantines and phenolic compounds on tumor-induced angiogenesis and the production of angiogenic growth factors. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of chocolate (CH), food containing substantial amounts of methyloxantine theobromine and polyphenols (mainly catechins), given to mice during pregnancy and the lactation period, on weight of organs, length of limbs, and bone vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentration (tested by ELISA), in 4-week old offspring. The study was performed on 2-month old Balb/c mice fed during pregnancy and lactation 400 mg of CH daily. Content of polyphenols (catechines) and theobromine in the chocolate was estimated by high liquid perforance chromatography (HPLC). Concentration of VEGF was tested by ELISA. Feeding pregnant mice chocolate produced the following effects: decrease of relative length of limbs and thigh bones in 4-week old progeny and decrease in VEGF content of offspring femoral bones. Conclusion: attention should be paid to possible unwanted effects of catechine- and methyloxantine-rich food and beverages during pregnancy and lactation. 200 mg of chocolate per mouse corresponds to 100 g per person.

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