How does a moms diet influence the epigenome

By | August 9, 2020

how does a moms diet influence the epigenome

Pregnancy is a vital time of growth and development during which maternal nutrition significantly influences the future health of both mother and baby. During pregnancy, the fetus experiences a critical period of plasticity. Epigenetics, specifically DNA methylation, plays an important role here. Research focuses on micronutrients and methyl donors such as folate and B vitamins. Evidence suggests that maternal nutrition does not largely influence global methylation patterns, particularly in nutrient-replete populations; however, an important impact on gene-specific methylation is observed. A link is shown between maternal nutrition and the methylome of the offspring; however, there remains a paucity of research. With the potential to use DNA methylation patterns at birth to predict health of the child in later life, it is vital that further research be carried out. Pregnancy is a critical period of plasticity whereby fetal development may be significantly influenced by environmental factors, such as maternal nutrients and hormones, 1 — 4 as well as the inherited genetic profile. This concept of fetal programing is well established in the literature. Epigenetics has been found to play a role in fetal programing.

Calkins K, Devaskar SU. This study provides early evidence that maternal diet can permanently shape the commensal microbiome profiles in the offspring gut. Lee, H. In mice, calorie restriction without malnutrition prevented insulin resistance and impaired lipid metabolism in gestational diabetes offspring [ 48 Li T, Chen K, Liu G, et al. Vitamin B12 and folate concentrations during pregnancy and insulin resistance in the offspring: The pune maternal nutrition study. All of these factors depend heavily on the in utero environment in the belly. Int J Epidemiol. PLoS One.

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A mother’s diet before conception can permanently affect how her child’s genes function, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The first such evidence of the effect in humans opens up the possibility that a mother’s diet before pregnancy could permanently affect many aspects of her children’s lifelong health. Through a selection process involving over 2, women, the researchers enrolled pregnant women who conceived at the peak of the rainy season 84 women and the peak of the dry season 83 women. By measuring the concentrations of nutrients in their blood, and later analysing blood and hair follicle samples from their month old infants, they found that a mother’s diet before conception had a significant effect on the properties of her child’s DNA. While a child’s genes are inherited directly from their parents, how these genes are expressed is controlled through ‘epigenetic’ modifications to the DNA. One such modification involves tagging gene regions with chemical compounds called methyl groups and results in silencing the genes. The addition of these compounds requires key nutrients including folate, vitamins B2, B6 and B12, choline and methionine.

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