What your mother ate is vital for your health

April 15th, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 15 (IANS) What your mother ate when you were in the womb has a vital impact on your well-being and future life. For example, smaller babies are more likely to suffer from heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes if the mother took poor nutrition at the time of fertilisation.

Now Adam Watkins and colleagues have shown that, even before conception, maternal diet is vital to the health of the next generation.

Even as the egg first leaves the ovary and begins to mature, it is subject to nutritional deficiencies in the mother that can profoundly affect its viability.

The researchers fed female mice a special low-protein diet during a three-and-a-half day ovulatory cycle, then let the mice mate. They studied the offspring and the results were profound, with the pups suffering an array of maladies.

“They were hypertensive, had poorly functioning blood vessels that did not relax properly when treated with reagents that should dilate them, had kidneys of abnormal structure and size, and exhibited reduced exploratory activity,” Watkins explained.

“These disturbing effects cannot necessarily be extrapolated to the human condition, but do illustrate the need to investigate whether such a link might exist in women.”

The findings have been published in the Journal of Physiology.

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