A new study says that women with a diet high in fat and sugar may be harming the health of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
US – A pregnancy represents many responsibilities. You should watch your diet and exercise, as research claims that the habits that a woman adopts during pregnancy can be key in the future health of the baby.
The new study, published in the journal Cell Reports, conducted by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Washington, says that women who have a diet high in fat and sugar before pregnancy may be damaging the health of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Kelle H. Moley, director of research, said their findings suggest that maternal obesity can impair the health of their offspring over several generations.
For the first step of the study it was decided to use a group of female mice, which was assigned a diet as close to the American way of eating, ie, with 60% fat and 20% sugar. The diet was implemented for six weeks before pregnancy and lasted until weaning her litter. The percentages are equivalent to eating fast food daily.
The second step was to take the new breed and feed them healthily. Their diet consisted of high protein content and low levels of fat and sugar.
The sad thing is that the research result up to that point showed that the damage was already done. They found that the three generations descended from the underfed mice had developed insulin resistance and other metabolic problems, which translates to a high development of diseases such as cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.
In summary, the investigation showed that obesity and other problems associated with the metabolism can be inherited through the DNA of mothers and mitochondria present in the unfertilized egg, which does not happen with the parents, because mitochondria and DNA is only inherited from the mother.
Moley said their study is the first to show that female mice with metabolic syndrome can transmit dysfunctional mitochondria through the female inbred line to the third generation.
The publication says that although the study was conducted on mice, the results may be applicable to humans, and even their consequences can be more serious.
They concluded that it is important to note that in humans, where the diets of children are very similar to those of their parents, the effects of maternal metabolic syndrome could be even greater than those observed in their animal model.