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Thread: low carb diet during pregnancy increases obesity risk for child?.. page

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    low carb diet during pregnancy increases obesity risk for child?..

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    Yes, I just read that! Interesting that one of the researchers was saying that they really don't know what the actual dietary issues are. The only factor they know of is "Of 300 children in the study, 25 per cent showed signs of a change in their DNA make-up caused by their mother's diet during pregnancy. Mothers who had a lower carbohydrate intake had children who had a change in their DNA and therefore had an increased risk of being obese." But there might be other factors as well. Sounds like a whole lot of confusion at this point
    Started Feb 18 2011

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    Makes you wonder why, with all that confusion, they would even publish their study until they know more. Its like they are saying, oooooh dont eat low carb cause you'll change your dna... are they saying if you are a low carb pregnant woman you are going to have an obese kid?

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    Would be amusing to see what they considered "low carb" considering many of these low carb demonizing studies make worthless comparisons like 60% carbs compared to a "low carb" intake of only 50%. We already know that glucose is potentially fatal to embryos, we already know that excessive blood sugar can permanently alter a fetus's pancreas, so what sort of epigenetic change are they actually recording?
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    To be fair, it's a reporter's version of some very early findings. The reporter says 'low carb' but the researchers contextualises it by saying that the diets are 'lower' in carbohydrates. Doesn't stop it from being on the radio headlines all day. Sheesh, another chance to blame the mother!!
    Started Feb 18 2011

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    Here's a link directly to the Liggins Institute research page.
    Last year they ran a series of public lectures around nutrition, including some from an evolutionary perspective. Unfortunately the only one I could attend (which was titledSuper foods: can certain foods improve our health?) turned out to actually be about frankenfoods rather than natural superfoods.
    Last edited by Misabi; 04-18-2011 at 08:47 PM.

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    here is the citation for the article on pubmed: Epigenetic Gene Promoter Methylation at Birth Is A... [Diabetes. 2011] - PubMed result

    I am NOT an expert in epigenitics. I am however about to finish a couple of masters level classes in reading and analyzing journal articles. This was a pair of cohort studies which ended up with 78 and 239 participants (mother-child pairs) respectively. From what I could tell, they found a correlative association between a certain epigenetic marker in cord blood and fatness at age 9. They also found a relationship between lower maternal carbohydrate intake "in early pregnancy" (anything under 261.5 grams per day was all lumped together) and that same marker. The assessment of maternal diet was done by a "validated food frequency questionnaire" at 15 weeks gestation.

    Given all that, there are some unanswered questions to consider. Were these studies done at a time and place where the fatter mothers were more likely to be on low carb diet when they got pregnant? Could it be that a chunk of the "lower carb" mothers were having severe morning sickness which led to other deficiencies? Could the carbs have nothing to do with the epigenetic changes? Could this epigenetic change be related to some other factor which contributes to obesity but does not cause obesity itself (for example, children with motor planning difficulties or depression are more likely to be obese because they avoid physical activity)?

    the abstract of the study actually makes NO MENTION of carbohydrates, indicating that this was an ancillary finding which may not have been adequately researched. this is the conclusion of the abstract "CONCLUSIONS—Our findings suggest a substantial component of metabolic disease risk has a prenatal developmental basis. Perinatal epigenetic analysis may have utility in identifying individual vulnerability to later obesity and metabolic disease."

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    This is just speculation based on what I have read in this thread only (meaning I didn't really read the whole articles).

    Could it be possible that mothers who at a lower carbohydrate diet created children that are primed to eat low carb? As in, their genes were designed to handle a lower carb diet because they were created in the image of the mother's diet. Then, because most mothers don't put young children on diets, these children grew up eating a standard american diet just like the rest of the children in their neighborhood and school, which their body was not genetically designed for in utero, and maybe THAT is what caused the obesity. So technically it could be the children's poor diet; them not eating what their genes were designed to utilize best.

    Anyone? I'm kind of pulling the theory out of my ass without real science to back it up, but it makes sense to me that this could be the real issue. Unless one of you find some holes in it, that is
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