Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pregnancy diet has lifelong effects for baby

09.03.2006


University of Nottingham researchers are targeting Europe’s biggest killer diseases — by focusing on the diet of unborn babies.



Poor nutrition in the womb and in the first months of infancy can condemn an individual to a life of poor health including higher risks of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists believe a baby is ‘programmed’ for a lifetime of good or poor health in its first few months by the type and amount of nutrition they receive.


Experts at The University of Nottingham are now heading up part of an £11m project to pinpoint the best way of giving babies a healthy start that will benefit them for the whole of their lives.

Their findings will help to shape public policy on mothers’ diet in pregnancy and lactation. The Nottingham team believes the project could have as big an impact on public health as other lifestyle interventions — such as decreasing food intake and increasing exercise — which are much more difficult to impose.

Professor Michael Symonds, Head of the Academic Division of Child Health at Nottingham University Medical School, said: “What your mother eats and how you are fed as a baby can programme you for a lifetime of good health or bad health.

“This obviously has important health implications worldwide, given that we are living longer, more people are getting cardiovascular disease and we need to get to grips with the mechanisms behind this.”

The EU-funded project is known as EARNEST, its full title being ‘Early Nutrition Programming — Long-term follow-up of efficacy and safety trials and integrated epidemiological, genetic, animal, consumer and economic research’.

The University of Nottingham team is embarking on a series of intervention studies, manipulating diet during pregnancy and lactation to establish the optimum dietary patterns for humans.

Professor Symonds said: “There are two types of baby we should be particularly concerned about — both the baby that is too small and the baby that is too large. There has been a 20 per cent increase in birth weight over the last 10-15 years.

“That is, in part, due to the fact that mothers are larger when they are getting pregnant and are more likely to suffer from pregnancy diabetes, that is they are unable to control their blood glucose adequately.

“The result of that is the baby will actually be larger at birth… which could well be one factor that is contributing to later obesity. If you start off being too large at birth, then you are on a track to remain too large through later life.

“At the same time, a baby of normal size at birth, but who is given too much formula milk, which the mother will perceive as a good thing — i.e. that the baby is growing fast — in clinical terms it may potentially be growing too fast.

“That baby may be at more risk of later disease because when you grow too rapidly one of the adaptations is you lay down too much fat. Once you have too much fat in early life that can stay with you throughout your life: you may become obese earlier with all the complications that go with that.”

EARNEST is a Europe-wide project bringing together scientists from 38 research institutions across 16 countries in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, epidemiology, public health and consumer behaviour.

Professor Berthold Koletzko, of the University of Munich, is co-ordinating the six research initiatives that make up the EARNEST project.

Professor Koletzko said: “Major differences in risk factors for significant health problems — such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, bone health, immune function, cognitive development and behaviour — have already been observed in children who experienced different diets in the first few months of life, or whose mothers were given different supplements during pregnancy.

“These studies have not been running long enough to know whether the differences seen in childhood persist into adult life. If they do, the impact on the health of future generations is enormous.”

Michael Symonds | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/public-affairs/press-releases/index.phtml?menu=pressreleases&code=PREG-37/06&create_date=08-mar-2006

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>