It’s been an interesting week for research, with scientists discovering another amazing benefit of breastfeeding. Now, experts have uncovered the major significance that a mum’s pre-conception diet can have on her child.
According to the research, carried out by scientists at the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a mum’s nutritional status at the time she conceives her baby can have a major impact upon the child’s immune system.
The report claims that a mum’s pre-conception diet can permanently change the function of a gene that influences the baby’s ability to fight off cancer and other harmful diseases.
The researchers explain that a tumour suppressing gene called VTRNA20-1 is particularly sensitive to changes in a mum’s diet within the first few days of conception. This is reportedly the “first concrete evidence” that a mother’s nutritional health before pregnancy is vital for their child’s future health.
Commenting on this fascinating finding, Professor Andrew Prentice of the MRC said: “The potential implications are enormous…If a mother’s diet is poor, then it causes a whole lot of damage to the genome which has a shotgun effect, so a baby might have possible adverse outcomes.”
Admitting that the research is of major significance, he added: “We could potentially clean up a lot of adverse pregnancy outcomes by getting the diet right.”
This is absolutely fascinating. Further research into this finding is planned, so we will keep you updated.