Washington: It is already known that what mom eats when pregnant makes a huge difference in the health of her child.Now, new research in mice has suggested that what she ate before pregnancy might be important too.What a group of female mice ate—before pregnancy—chemically altered their DNA and these changes were passed to her offspring. These DNA alterations, called “epigenetic” changes, drastically affected the pups` metabolism of many essential fatty acids, the research found.These results could have a profound impact on future research for diabetes, obesity, cancer, and immune disorders.To make this discovery, Mihai Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D., study author from Nutrition Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Chapel Hill, N.C. and colleagues split mouse females into two groups before gestation, and fed them either a control diet, or a diet deficient in alpha-linolenic acid or ALA.This was achieved by replacing the type of fats in the diet, while keeping the number of calories the same. The females were bred with mouse males kept on a control diet. Immediately after the moms delivered the pups, each of these two initial groups were further split in two, so that each half of the initial groups received a flaxseed oil supplemented diet (rich in ALA), while the other halves from each group remained on the same diet.
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