A new study published in the online FASEB Journal found that what female mice ate before pregnancy altered their DNA, and these changes were then passed down to their offspring. These changes affected the ways their babies metabolized essential fatty acids.
Study author Mihai Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D., from Nutrition Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Chapel Hill, N.C, stated, “My hope is that, along with many other scientists, we will reveal this tight biological relationship between us as parents, and our children, and how we can improve the lives of our children using our own biological machinery.”
“New York City may be laughed at by some for banning large, sugary sodas and for encouraging a healthy diet,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “This report shows that future generations might not find that funny at all. This report adds to the large body of evidence that an inappropriate diet can produce changes in the function of our DNA and the DNA of our children—a process called epigenetics. As we begin understand the effects of diet on epigenetics, New York may go from being considered a funny ‘nanny-state’ to becoming appreciated as a public health visionary.”