Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Embryos Need A Good Diet

Date:
May 12, 2005
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
A thick-coated vole and a man with cardiovascular disease have something in common: both are doing what their mothers told them. They are part of the developmental programming phenomenon that is broader than many acknowledge, according to a review paper published in The Journal of Physiology.

A thick-coated vole and a man with cardiovascular disease have something in common: both are doing what their mothers told them. They are part of the developmental programming phenomenon that is broader than many acknowledge, according to a review paper published in The Journal of Physiology.

Related Articles


Professors Mark Hanson and Peter Gluckman point out that the concept of developmental programming is often considered synonymous with the 'thrifty phenotype', where a fetus slows its growth or the growth of individual organs to cope with undernutrition in the womb. The adjustments are irreversible, and can lead to disease when life outside the womb involves abundant calories.

But, they say, there is more. Some adaptations have no survival advantage whatsoever at the time they are set in place: only later in life do their benefits show up.

For example, meadow voles have thick or sparse coats depending on the day length their mothers experience in early pregnancy. There is no immediate survival value when coat thickness is determined, but later on it matters a lot to the offspring. Many human traits are likely to operate in a similar manner.

Some programming traits are even passed onto subsequent generations -- possibly by affecting genes, eggs within a developing female fetus, or her reproductive organs.

Many so-called programming effects probably operate by altering gene expression through "epigenetic processes". This can be induced during the embryonic period by environmental influences, which puts a twist on the traditional 'genes vs. environment' debate. Nutrition influences can mediate epigenetic change -- for example the supply of folate can affect DNA methylation.

Mother's diets also come under Hanson's and Gluckman's scrutiny. People's protein intake has decreased since humans evolved, meaning that carbohydrate and fat intake must have increased to compensate. The resulting deficit of important amino acids as well as more starch and fat could lead to poorer health in offspring who develop under those conditions.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Why Embryos Need A Good Diet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050512112108.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, May 12). Why Embryos Need A Good Diet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050512112108.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Why Embryos Need A Good Diet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050512112108.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins