Study Suggests Mother’s Unhealthy Diet Could Have Long-Term Negative Impact on Offspring

Impact may still be felt even if offspring follow a healthy diet
Pregnant

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Study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine drew conclusions from studying mice.

You are what you eat, and so is your offspring, results from a study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis finds.

In line with another study that found that exposure to a high-fructose diet during critical fetal development leads to programming for cardiometabolic dysfunction later in life, the team at Washington University School of Medicine found that women that consume a diet that is high in fat and sugar have a risk of passing on metabolic problems to future generations, even if their offspring follow a healthy diet, reports Food Navigator.

These genetic abnormalities, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, could be passed on through the female bloodline for at least three generations.

Dr. Kelle Moley, senior author of the study and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the university, said, “Our study indicates oocytes — or mothers’ eggs — may carry information that programs mitochondrial dysfunction throughout the entire organism.”

For the study, the mice were fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet of approximately 60 percent fat and 20 percent sugar. The next three generations of offspring were fed a high-protein, low-fat, low-sugar diet. Despite the healthy diet, the offspring still developed insulin resistance and other metabolic problems.

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