Very Early Life Influences Later Life
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One of the predictions of reliability theory as applied to aging is that we are all born with an existing level of damage. One of the ways in which that damage might occur - and "damage" here is a very broad term, which might include suboptimal epigenetic changes - stems from maternal influence while in the womb. For example, researchers "have shown one way in which poor nutrition in the womb can put a person at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other age-related diseases in later life. This finding could lead to new ways of identifying people who are at a higher risk of developing these diseases and might open up targets for treatment. ... The research shows that, in both rats and humans, individuals who experience a poor diet in the womb are less able to store fats correctly in later life. Storing fats in the right areas of the body is important because otherwise they can accumulate in places like the liver and muscle where they are more likely to lead to disease. ... 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. ... The team found that this process is controlled by a molecule called miR-483-3p. 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."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/babs-hpm010512.php

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