Obese Mothers Can Impact Future Generations
While obesity can impact an expectant mother’s child, recent studies have shown that not only can a mother’s weight issue influence a baby’s chance of becoming obese, but additionally future generations in a person’s family line also inherit the chance of becoming overweight and obese.
A study just released in Cell Reports shows that a diet that it high in sugar and fat, as well as a mom’s weight, can influence generations, including her great-grandchildren. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine located in St. Louis doled to mice a diet that was comprised of 60 percent fat and 20 percent sugar. The mouse ate this diet six weeks prior to conception and long after the birth of the mouse’s babies.
What was discovered is that the DNA in this mice with this type of an unhealthy diet transform into defectiveness. The mitochondria in the DNA, which has its own cell systems, are inherited and passed from generation to generation, coming from the mother. The father’s bloodline does not influence the DNA, and instead, the DNA code goes through the mother’s unfertilized eggs and becomes an inherited trait. If a mother has defective mitochondrial DNA, in turn, it will influence her children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s metabolism, especially when passed female to female.
With the Western diet that many eat, with a focus on fats, carbohydrates, salts, sugars and other processing influences, those who eat this type of diet on a regular basis, are not only harming their body in the present, they are influencing their entire genetic line into obesity. Fast foods, and also processed foods have become the norm.
Once that genetic code is defective, the research of the mice great-grandbabies even showed that if they ate a healthy diet, they still usually became obese. That’s because obesity, from the great-grandmother was written into the genetic code due to her influence. Those leading the study also noted that about two-thirds of the women in the United States who are able to conceive children fall into the overweight category, with some in even more peril with their weight and classified as “obese.”
If a mother is overweight or obese, and a child follows the same high sugar and high fat diet, the effects become even more devastating. Plus, while this study was performed on mice, researchers have noted that the impacted may have a greater exacerbation when humans are analyzed for this phenomenon.
Plus, there are other side effects. Due to the alteration of the genetic code with a propensity towards obesity, these babies also had other issues with health problems often affiliated with weight issues. Insulin resistance is one that is impacted from obesity, and Type 2 diabetes is a side effect.
The researchers are now studying if reversing a mother’s diet during her pregnancy, as well as adding exercise into her routine, can help change the course of the DNA in family lines. Eating a diet rich in whole foods including fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as lean proteins, is optimal for good health.
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