Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exposure to micronutrients pre-pregnancy associated with gene modifications in offspring

Date:
February 22, 2012
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
The offspring of women who were given micronutrient supplements (minerals needed in small quantities, such as iron, iodine and vitamin A) before they became pregnant had gene modifications at birth as well as when they were tested at nine months.

The offspring of women who were given micronutrient supplements (minerals needed in small quantities, such as iron, iodine and vitamin A) before they became pregnant had gene modifications at birth as well as when they were tested at 9 months.

The changes to the genes, called methylation, have previously been associated with the development of the immune system, although this study did not provide direct evidence that the activity of these genes has changed.

Professor Nabeel Affara, lead author of the study from the University of Cambridge, said: "The mechanism by which micronutrients influence methylation changes is still to be worked out, but it is known from other work that the genes of the immune system undergo such changes as immune function develops, particularly in early postnatal stages and early childhood.

"These changes are part of the normal development of the immune system provided adequate nutrition is available. Where this is not the case, different patterns of methylation may occur, altering the activity of key genes and therefore potentially the effectiveness of the immune system. The result is likely to be reduced ability to fight infection and hence susceptibility to infectious diseases."

The study used DNA samples from a Medical Research Council (MRC) micronutrient supplementation trial where women attempting to get pregnant are given either a cocktail of micronutrients or a placebo until pregnancy is confirmed (approximately an 8 weeks period). The research was conducted in The Gambia where there is seasonal variation in the availability of micronutrients with an alternation between the dry season (when they harvest and food is plentiful) and the wet season (when there is less food available and therefore poorer nutrition). Individuals born in the wet, nutritionally poor season have been found to be more susceptible to infection.

Professor Affara added: "This has huge public health implications for regions of the world where food security is an issue. If we have an improved understanding of what nutrition is important and the mechanisms by which this important environmental factor interacts with gene function, we can target nutritional intervention to improve health in later life."

The research, funded by the BBSRC, was published February 22 in the journal Human Molecular Genetics in advance online publication. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cambridge. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Khulan, W. N. Cooper, B. M. Skinner, J. Bauer, S. Owens, A. M. Prentice, G. Belteki, M. Constancia, D. Dunger, N. A. Affara. Periconceptional maternal micronutrient supplementation is associated with widespread gender related changes in the epigenome: a study of a unique resource in the Gambia. Human Molecular Genetics, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/hmg/dds026

Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Exposure to micronutrients pre-pregnancy associated with gene modifications in offspring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120222132737.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2012, February 22). Exposure to micronutrients pre-pregnancy associated with gene modifications in offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120222132737.htm
University of Cambridge. "Exposure to micronutrients pre-pregnancy associated with gene modifications in offspring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120222132737.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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