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Friday, April 6, 2012

Food determines your babies’ brain – Research

The kind of food mothers eat has its role in determination of the sought of brain their babies’ have at the end of order.
An extract from the latest research of the University of Manchester and made available to NaijaAgroNet, has also shown that twins are more prone to diabetes.
Chief Media Relations, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences
The University of Manchester, Mr. Aeron Haworth, stated in a press statement that women who fall pregnant while dieting are more likely to have a child that could become obese or diabetic in later life, new research suggests.
While the study was carried out in sheep, he said, University of Manchester scientists suspect the findings may hold true for humans as well.
According to him, the research, carried out with colleagues in New Zealand and Canada, may also have found a reason why human twins are more likely to develop type-2 diabetes in adulthood after the team studied twin lambs.
The study investigated twin pregnancies in sheep, as well the pregnancies of ewes that received less food around the time the lamb was conceived.
He quoted the researchers as then looking at tissues from the brains of the unborn lambs, stressing that this was to see if there were changes in the structure of the DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA); the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms that would alter genes involved in food intake and glucose levels after birth.
Study lead and professor of Endocrine Sciences, Prof. (Mrs) Anne White, was quoted as saying that they found that unborn twin lambs had changes in the structure of DNA in the region of the brain that regulates food intake and glucose that resulted in an increased chance of diabetes in adulthood.
“Our findings provide a reason why twins are more likely to get diabetes but we have also shown that mothers who don’t have enough food around the time of conception may have a child who grows up with an increased risk of obesity,” she said.
Although the study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, was conducted in sheep, the researchers believe their findings are relevant to humans too, as they reveal a non-genetic or ‘epigenetic’ way in which the DNA of offspring could be altered.
Professor White of Manchester’s Faculties of Medical and Human Sciences and Life Sciences, further said that this is not an inherited change in the genes but a change in the structure of the DNA that affects the genes, and therefore much more unusual.
“What is significant is that the changes we have found are in genes that control food intake and glucose levels and alterations in these genes may lead to obesity and diabetes,” she said.
Additionally, she said, more people are becoming obese and getting diabetes, while rates of twins are steadily increasing as women have babies at older ages and rates of conception using artificial reproductive technologies increase.
“Dieting in young women is also very common and can occur in women who may not know they are pregnant,” she said, adding that the team’s findings in sheep, if replicated in humans, suggest that obesity and diabetes could be more likely in twins and in children from mothers who are not eating properly or dieting around the time of conception.
 “Our study is important because it shows that factors in the brain can be altered by non-hereditary mechanisms and this results in changes in the body, which could make people obese. The findings may provide a new understanding of why twins can develop diabetes and also suggests that dieting around the time a baby is conceived may increase the chance of the child becoming obese later in life,” she submitted.
While the study doesn’t have implications for the treatment of diabetes or obesity, the researchers say it could be important for disease prevention regimes whereby advice on eating is given to women who are planning a family that could reduce future health risks for their children.

Remmy Nweke
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