Women who wear sports bras and other sports equipment during pregnancy and lactation have lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood, according to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
The study, led by the University of Washington, found that the athletes wore the equipment more than twice as often during pregnancy as women who did not wear it.
The researchers also looked at markers of inflammation, including levels of IL-8, an inflammatory protein that is produced by the immune system.
In a second study, researchers compared the blood levels of women who wore sports bras during pregnancy to those who did.
The results: The mothers of pregnant women who had a history of having sports injuries or injuries to the hips had significantly higher levels of inflammation markers in the blood.
The authors of that study say their findings should be helpful for doctors who are considering recommending sports equipment for pregnant women to reduce risk of developing arthritis.
“We’re finding these protective associations between sport activity and inflammation in the mother and the infant,” said study lead author Jessica F. Kwon, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University at Buffalo.
“That could have a role for doctors as they consider whether to give these mothers sports equipment.”
The new study was a follow-up to another one done a few years ago, and the authors say their results could have implications for doctors.
“A woman’s ability to maintain and even enhance her body’s natural processes could affect her child’s development and the risk of joint problems and other health problems in the future,” Kwon said.
The findings of the new study were published online Aug. 25 in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
The new research is part of a larger effort that researchers at the UB-affiliated Maternal and Child Health Center are conducting to examine the relationship between pregnancy and immune system inflammation in women who are pregnant and lactating.
The UB research team is also looking at the effect of sports participation on inflammatory markers and biomarkers in women of childbearing age who are trying to become mothers.
The researchers found that during pregnancy, the mothers of women with an inflammatory marker were more likely to have low levels of antibodies to specific proteins known as interleukins, the team found.
The group also found that mothers of mothers with an inflammation marker had significantly lower levels in their mother’s bloodstream of interleucin-10, a protein that helps the immune systems recognize proteins and molecules.
The team found that women with a history or current history of sports injuries had significantly elevated levels of cytokines in their mothers’ blood. “
The mothers of moms with inflammation markers had a significantly lower percentage of antibodies.”
The team found that women with a history or current history of sports injuries had significantly elevated levels of cytokines in their mothers’ blood.
It was the first time researchers have seen an association between the inflammatory markers identified in mothers of athletes and the levels of their cytokines, she said.
Interleukin-11 is a protein produced by a part of the immune response to foreign proteins.
It helps to maintain the integrity of the body’s immune system, Kwon noted.
It is also produced by other parts of the blood, including the lining of the brain, and plays a role in inflammation.
The cytokines associated with inflammation include interleuins 11 and 12.
They are found primarily in the bloodstream, but they also affect cells in other tissues and are thought to be involved in many diseases including asthma, allergies and cardiovascular disease.
The cytokines are also produced during pregnancy.
The women in this study also had significantly increased levels of IFN-γ, a cytokine that is associated with arthritis.
IFN, which stands for interleukains-1, 2 and 3, is a type of protein produced in the immune cells of the mother that has been shown to be important for regulating inflammation in response to infection and stress.
It also can affect the brain and spinal cord, among other things.
“The results of this study are exciting because we can show that inflammation in a mother and infant is linked to a mother’s inflammatory markers, and it can affect children’s health as well,” Kowon said.
She added that it is possible that cytokine levels in the maternal bloodstream could influence a child’s immune response.
“One of the biggest questions we are asking is: How do we intervene in the mothers’ immune response?”
“What should be the first thing we do is make sure the mother is immunized with IFN in order to protect the baby from developing an immune deficiency, and that’s what this study is all about.”
The researchers say they are also interested in finding out whether the protective effects of wearing sports equipment are linked to the mothers being pregnant or lactating at the time.
The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the UBC School of Public Health.
For more information, contact Jennifer McGovern at jmcgovern