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Yours in health
Erin and Michael
A mother’s diet can permanently alter the functioning of her offspring’s genes even before the child is conceived, scientists have shown. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
Your fate is sealed before you are even born: new study shows nutrition advice to adolescent girls before pregnancy could avert preterm births and brain defects.
A mother’s diet before conception can affect her unborn child’s genetic make-up and immune system, according to new findings with profound implications for policy and development work.
A report launched today by scientists at the Medical Research Council (MRC) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that a mother’s nutritional status at the time of conception can permanently change the function of a gene that influences her child’s immunity and cancer risks.
Leading researchers believe this could have a wider impact on the treatment of nutrition in global development.