Epigenetic changes in twins of dieting mothers increases risk of obesity and diabetes

Posted By News On April 1, 2012 - 8:30am

Bethesda, MD—If you're expecting, this might make you feel a little better about reaching for that pint of ice cream: New research published online in the FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) suggests that twins, and babies of mothers who diet around the time of conception and in early pregnancy, may have an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes throughout their lives. This study provides exciting insights into how behavior can lead to epigenetic changes in offspring related to obesity and disease.

"This study may provide a new understanding of why twins can develop diabetes," said Anne White, Ph.D., study author from the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester in Manchester, UK. "It also suggests that dieting around the time a baby is conceived may increase the chance of the child becoming obese later in life."

To make this discovery, White and colleagues conducted experiments involving sheep to investigate twin pregnancies and the effects of altering nutrition around the time of conception and early pregnancy. Specifically, scientists examined the brain tissue of fetal sheep before birth and found that there were changes in the genes that control food intake and glucose levels that may lead to obesity and diabetes. These findings are unique because the differences found in the genes are not inherited changes in the DNA sequence, but rather, epigenetic changes with alterations in the structure of the DNA and its associated proteins, histones, which affects the way that genes can behave in later life.

"This study shows that expecting mothers have to walk a really fine line when it comes to diet and nutrition," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. "It also shows that epigenetics is the 'new genetics': both our DNA and the histones in which it is wrapped are susceptible to binge eating and dieting—we are what our mothers ate."

Diabetes.. Sometimes its even worse than Cancer!! Being a Nutritionist, i have always recommended my patients to get on natural therapy early in their life to reduce the chances of diabetes and other disease...Psyllium is one very popular natural ingredient and also Organic Stevia..which is great.. There are many great brands available for stevia, but i believe only few brands are worth talking about. We have been taking Zyvia, Organic Natural Sweetener, it has really given us confidence to my patients, they now can live freely as far as diabetes is concerned.

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