Epigenetic scientists have discovered that moms while pregnant can with their diets and lifestyle mold the health of their babies. The FASEB Journal published a study proving that we are what our mothers ate or didn’t eat while pregnant. Genes can be modified by the environment (mom’s lifestyle). Rat fetuses receiving poor nutrition grew to be smaller and at higher risk for diabetes, growth retardation, cardiovascular disease, obesity and neuro-developmental delays etc…. These maternal – fetal health findings are seen to influence many healthcare issues through several generations. So what mom does will affect not just her immediate offspring but also future generation’s genetic make-up and therefore tendencies for various health problems. Reiterating what I have been preaching for 18 years, editor –in-chief of The FASEB Journal, Gerald Weissman, MD. , says: -"The jury's in and, yes, expectant moms really are eating for two. This study shows not only that we need to address problems such as preeclampsia during pregnancy, but also that prenatal care is far more important than anyone could have imagined a decade ago." Good or bad genes can be turned on or off depending on mom’s lifestyle. Most health related genes are not set in stone, they can be altered and once a baby is born, they can be further modified in good or bad ways depending on the child’s lifestyle.
In a related study, from University College Dublin and the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, high GI or high sugar food consumption, like white bread and chocolate in late pregnancy increases obesity risks in children. The study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology mentions that though much of the work against childhood obesity have been focused on the food eaten by children, we need to also focus on the diet and exercise habits of the mothers themselves.
So moms, the healthier you eat and exercise before and during pregnancy and nursing will shape the future health of your baby and grand children. “What happens in the womb doesn’t stay in womb.” Make it a happy, healthy place for your child to grow, by eating only healthy natural foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats, poultry and especially fish, drink lots of water, avoid all things fried, processed and white (boxed and canned foods, soda, white bread, pasta, rice and sugar), take a great prenatal supplement and exercise 3-5 days a week. By getting every crucial nutrient, you can even avert possible toxic effects of BPA and Mercury. Continuing this and nursing, once your healthy baby is born, you will be role model for your child that will continue eating well and exercise as our habits and tastes are formed when so very young.
- Expecting Fitness com
Qi Fu, Xing Yu, Christopher W. Callaway, Robert H. Lane, and Robert A. McKnight. Epigenetics: intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) modifies the histone code along the rat hepatic IGF-1 gene. FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.08-124768 http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/fj.08-124768v1
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Published online ahead of print, Early View, doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02149.x
“Transient high glycaemic intake in the last trimester of pregnancy increases offspring birthweight and postnatal growth rate in sheep: a randomised control trial”
Authors: N.A. Smith, F.M. McAuliffe, K. Quinn, P. Lonergan, A.C.O. Evans
Volume 116, Issue 1, Pages 34-39
“Inhibition of acrylamide formation by vitamins in model reactions and fried potato strips”
Authors: X. Zeng, K.-W. Cheng, Y. Jiang, Z.-X. Lin, J.-J. Shi, S.-Y. Ou, F. Chen, M. Wang