Friday, 3 August 2018
Mediterranean Diet during Pregnancy Epigenetically Reduce a Child’s Disease Risk
The Mediterranean diet has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Research is now pointing to the epigenetic benefits abiding by a Mediterranean diet could have while pregnant. The main components of this healthy eating pattern might epigenetically protect the fetus from developing diseases later in life by adjusting what is called histone modifications. Researchers reviewed the potential epigenetic benefits of a Mediterranean diet and how it might protect a child from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, formerly known as Syndrome X, is a cluster of metabolic disorders which increases the risk of a patient developing cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a person must have at least three of the five metabolic risk factors. The risk factors include abdominal obesity, having excess fat in the stomach area and a large waistline, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, hypertension and high fasting blood sugar levels.
The likelihood of being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight and obesity. More than one-third of adults and 17% of children and adolescents in are obese. As these numbers continue to increase the prevalence of metabolic syndrome will also increase.
In addition, eating certain foods while pregnant might also predispose children to develop disorders like ADHD. A high-fat, high-sugar diet during pregnancy has previously been connected to ADHD in children. And it doesn’t stop at mothers a father’s diet has also been shown to epigenetically influence his child’s mental fitness.
Similarly, there is strong evidence that epigenetic changes that occur during fetal development play a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome. Healthy eating patterns have been shown to decrease the chances of an adult developing metabolic syndrome. Recent studies have also demonstrated that healthy eating during pregnancy could protect the fetus from developing metabolic syndrome throughout its life through epigenetic changes that occur during development.
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