Associations between serum taurine concentrations in mothers and neonates and the children's anthropometrics and early neurodevelopment: Results from the Seychelles Child Development Study, Nutrition Cohort 2

Laura A Beggan, Maria S Mulhern, Hanne K Mæhre, Emeir M McSorley, Alison J Yeates, Alexis Zavez, Sally W Thurston, Conrad Shamlaye, Edwin van Wijngaarden, Philip W Davidson, Gary J Myers, J J Strain, Edel O Elvevoll

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    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: High concentrations of taurine are present in the developing human brain and maternal breast milk. Taurine is thought to influence fetal growth and brain development based on experimental rodent studies. As fish is an important dietary source of taurine, we investigated associations between taurine concentrations and child outcomes in a high fish consuming population.

    OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between maternal and cord serum taurine concentrations and birth anthropometric measures and cognitive development in children at 20 months of age.

    METHODS: Pregnant women were recruited between 2008 and 2011 as part of Nutrition Cohort 2 (NC2) of the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS). Maternal taurine serum concentrations were measured at 28 week's gestation and in cord serum. Child weight, length and head circumference were measured at birth and neurodevelopment was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II) at 20 months of age. Associations between taurine status, birth measures and neurodevelopmental outcomes were examined (n= 300) using regression models and adjusted for relevant covariates.

    RESULTS: Mean (SD) maternal and cord taurine concentrations were 124.9 (39.2) µmol/L (range 28.2-253.9 µmol/L) and 187.6 (60.0) µmol/L (range 55.0-417.4 µmol/L) respectively. We found no associations between maternal taurine concentrations and child anthropometric and neurodevelopmental measures (weight β=-0.001, SE=0.001; length β=-0.006, SE=0.006; head circumference β=-0.002, SE=0.002; MDI β=-0.005, SE=0.015; PDI β=-0.004, SE=0.016; all P>0.05), or between cord taurine concentrations and outcomes (weight β=-0.001, SE<0.000; length β=-0.001, SE=0.004; head circumference β<0.000, SE=0.002; MDI β=0.004, SE=0.010; PDI β=-0.015, SE=0.012; all P>0.05).

    CONCLUSION: The Seychellois population have high maternal and cord taurine concentrations owing to their high fish intake and may be considered taurine replete compared to individuals who consume a Westernised diet. This high taurine status may explain why there were no significant associations between maternal and cord taurine concentrations and outcomes after adjusting for covariates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-49
    Number of pages7
    JournalNeurotoxicology
    Volume99
    Early online date25 Aug 2023
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Dec 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    This research was funded by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health (R01-ES010219,
    P30-ES01247, T32-ES007271, R24 ES029466), the Department for the
    Economy (DfE), Northern Ireland and in-kind support from the government of Seychelles.

    Keywords

    • taurine
    • pregnancy
    • child development
    • birth
    • neurodevelopment
    • Pregnancy
    • Taurine
    • Child development
    • Neurodevelopment
    • Birth

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