11:55 am - Wednesday February 20, 2019

Poor Maternal Diet may Increase Diabetes Risk: New Study


A way in which poor nutrition in the womb can put a person at greater risk of developing Poor Maternal Diet is more susceptible to disease like Diabetestype 2 diabetes and other age-related diseases in later life has been revealed by researchers who were funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Those who received poor maternal diet when inside the womb are more susceptible to disease in later life including increased diabetes risk.

Based at the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester, the team published their findings on January 6 in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation.

This finding might open up targets for treatment & could lead to new ways of identifying people who are at a higher risk of developing diseases as also increased diabetes risk.

Individuals who experience a poor maternal diet in the womb are less able to store fats correctly in later life. The research shows this to be similar in both rats and humans.

Fats, if not stored in the right areas of the body can accumulate in places such as the liver and muscle in the form of calories in fat cells where they are more likely to lead to diabetes & other age-related diseases.

“One of the ways that our bodies cope with a rich modern western diet is by storing excess calories in fat cells. When these cells aren’t able to absorb the excess then fats get deposited in other places, like the liver, where they are much more dangerous and can lead to type 2 diabetes,” explains professor Anne Willis of the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester.

The team found a molecule called miR-483-3p that this process is controlled. They found that miR-483-3p was produced at higher levels in individuals who had experienced a poor diet in their mother’s wombs than those who were better nourished.

“People are continuing to live ever longer and healthier lives thanks to improvements in nutrition and healthcare. However modern diets and lifestyles are posing new challenges to which our bodies sometimes seem poorly adapted, and this has caused unforeseen health problems”, said Professor Douglas K, Chief Executive of BBSRC.

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