Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High-fat diet during pregnancy programs child for future diabetes

26.05.2011
A high-fat diet during pregnancy may program a woman's baby for future diabetes, even if she herself is not obese or diabetic, says a new University of Illinois study published in the Journal of Physiology.

"We found that exposure to a high-fat diet before birth modifies gene expression in the livers of offspring so they are more likely to overproduce glucose, which can cause early insulin resistance and diabetes," said Yuan-Xiang Pan, a U of I professor of nutrition.

The high-fat diet that caused these changes was a typical Western diet that contained 45 percent fat, which is not at all unusual, he said.

"In recent years, the American diet has shifted to include many high-energy, high-fat, cafeteria-type, and fast foods," he noted.

Because the epigenetic marks can be easily evaluated, Pan hopes that the study will give doctors a diagnostic tool to screen newborns born with this propensity so they can help children keep their blood sugar in a normal range and give them their best chance of avoiding diabetes.

In the study, Pan and doctoral student Rita Strakovsky fed obesity-resistant rats either a high-fat or a control diet from the first day of gestation. Because the animals were not obese before the study began, the scientists were able to determine that diet alone had produced these effects.

"At birth, offspring in the high-fat group had blood sugar levels that were twice as high as those in the control group, even though their mothers had normal levels," Strakovsky said.

The high-fat offspring also had epigenetic modifications to genes that regulate glucose metabolism. One of these modifications, the acetylation of histones, acts by loosening the DNA, making it easier for the gene to be transcribed, she said.

Pan said these epigenetic marks would not be erased easily. However, if people were aware of them, they could change their diet and lifestyle to compensate for their predisposition, delaying or even preventing the development of diabetes.

"We'd like to see if diet after birth could alleviate this problem that was programmed before birth," he said.

Although their study points to using epigenetics as a diagnostic tool, Strakovsky stressed the importance of making dietary recommendations for pregnant women more available so they are able to prevent this health problem.

"Obstetrics patients rarely see a dietitian unless they're having medical problems like gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. Doctors now tend to focus on how much weight a woman should gain in a healthy pregnancy. Although healthy weight gain is extremely important, nutritional guidance could be invaluable for all pregnant women and their babies," she said.

Pregnant women should consume a balanced diet low in saturated fats, which are usually found in fattier cuts of meat, fast foods, pastries, and desserts. But they should also consume appropriate amounts of healthy fats, including good sources of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which are important for their baby's brain and neuron development.

Cold-water fish that are low in mercury, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, soybean and cod liver oils, walnuts and winter squash are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs, corn oil, whole-grain bread, poultry, and sunflower seeds and oil provide omega-6 fatty acids.

"Until now we didn't realize that a mother's diet during pregnancy had a long-term effect on the metabolic pathways that affect her child's glucose production," Pan said. "Now that we know this, we urge pregnant women to eat a balanced low-fat diet that follows government guidelines. Then a woman can prime her child for a healthy life instead of future medical struggles."

The article, "Gestational high-fat diet programs hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase gene expression and histone modification in neonatal offspring rats," is available pre-publication online at http://jp.physoc.org/content/early/2011/03/28/jphysiol.2010.203950.full.pdf+html. Co-authors are Rita S. Strakovsky, Xiyuan Zhang, and Dan Zhou, all of the U of I. The study was funded by the USDA.

Phyllis Picklesimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>