More publication success!

PhD student Fiona Sach has had her first paper accepted for publication in Peer Journal. This review article describes how nutritional requirements of African elephants may govern movement choices and lead to human-elephant conflict.

Sach F, Dierenfeld ES, Langley-Evans SC, Watts MJ, Yon L (2019). African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) as an example of a herbivore making movement choices based on nutritional need. Peer Journal In Press



New paper accepted!

Happy to report a nice Christmas present, especially for PhD student Sally Draycott, whose first paper has been accepted by Nutrition and Metabolism today.

Maternal dietary ratio of linoleic acid to alpha-linolenic acid during pregnancy has sex specific effects on placental and fetal weights in the rat.

By Sally Draycott, Ge Liu, Zoe Daniel, Matt Elmes, Bev Muhlhausler and Simon Langley-Evans.

Background: Increased consumption of linoleic acid (LA, omega-6) in Western diets coupled with the pro-inflammatory and adipogenic properties of its derivatives has led to suggestions that fetal exposure to this dietary pattern could be contributing to the intergenerational cycle of obesity.

Method: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of maternal consumption of a LA to alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) ratio similar to modern Western diets (9:1) compared to a lower ratio (1:1.5) on placental and fetal growth, and to determine any cumulative effects by feeding both diets at two total fat levels (18% vs 36% fat w/w). Female Wistar rats (n=5-7/group) were assigned to one of the four experimental diets prior to mating until 20d of gestation.

Results: Fatty acid profiles of maternal and fetal blood and placental tissue at 20d gestation were different between dietary groups, and largely reflected dietary fatty acid composition. Female fetuses were heavier (2.98±0.06g vs 3.36±0.07g, P<0.01) and male placental weight was increased (0.51±0.02g vs 0.58±0.02, P<0.05) in the low LA:ALA groups. Female fetuses of dams exposed to a 36% fat diet had a reduced relative liver weight irrespective of LA:ALA ratio (7.61±0.22% vs 6.93±0.19%, P<0.05). These effects occurred in the absence of any effect of the dietary treatments on maternal bodyweight, fat deposition or expression of key lipogenic genes in maternal and fetal liver or maternal adipose tissue.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that both the total fat content as well as the LA:ALA ratio of the maternal diet have sex-specific implications for the growth of the developing fetus.


This success is the latest output to arise from the good collaboration that we have with Bev Muhlhausler in Adelaide, which has already led to a number of publications.

  1. Vithayathil MA, Gugusheff JR, Ong ZY, Langley-Evans SC, Gibson RA, Muhlhausler BS (2018). Exposure to maternal cafeteria diets during the suckling period has greater effects on fat deposition and Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein-1c (SREBP-1c) gene expression in rodent offspring compared to exposure before birth. Nutrition and Metabolism. 15, 17.
  2. Langley-Evans SC, Muhlhausler BS (2019). Early life nutritional programming of adult health status. Early Life Origins of Ageing and Longevity Vaiserman A.
  3. Langley-Evans SC, Muhlhausler BS (2017). Early nutrition, epigenetics and health. Chapter 11, in: Epigenetics of Aging and LonvegityEds: Moskalev A and Vaiserman A.
  4. Muhlhausler BS, Gugusheff J, Langley-Evans SC (2017). Maternal junk food diets: The effects on offspring fat mass and food preferences. In: Diet, Nutrition and Fetal Programming From Womb to Adulthood, Ed: Patel VB, Preedy VR and Rajendram R. pp 227-238.