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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>