Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Food in early life affects fertility, study suggests

Date:
December 29, 2010
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
The reproductive success of men and women is influenced by the food they receive at an early stage in life, according to new research.

The reproductive success of men and women is influenced by the food they receive at an early stage in life, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.

The research, which was published online December 17, 2010 in the journal Ecology, is the first study of its kind to show that early life food can have a serious influence on the life-long fertility of individuals.

The research team, led by Dr Ian Rickard from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University, used a combination of church record data on births in 18th century Finland and agricultural data on crop yields of rye and barley from the same time and place.

The study showed that in men and women born into poor families, food in very early life was related to the probability of reproducing. Approximately half of the poor people who were born in a year in which both rye and barley yields were low would not go on to have any children during their entire lives. However almost everyone from a poor family born in bumper harvest years, when both crops were high, would reproduce at least once in their life.

These results indicate that food received during prenatal or early postnatal life may limit the development of the reproductive system.

Dr Rickard said: "Our results show that the food received by children born into poor families had an influence on their later reproductive success. These results have implications for our understanding of early environmental effects on human and animal health and will help shed light on our current understanding of fertility and whether it is influenced by individual or social factors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sheffield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ian J. Rickard, Jari Holopainen, Samuli Helama, Samuli Helle, Andrew F. Russell, Virpi Lummaa. Food availability at birth limited reproductive success in historical humans. Ecology, 2010; 91 (12): 3515 DOI: 10.1890/10-0019.1

Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "Food in early life affects fertility, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220102728.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2010, December 29). Food in early life affects fertility, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220102728.htm
University of Sheffield. "Food in early life affects fertility, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220102728.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) 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:
from the past week

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