BABIES whose mothers do not get enough essential B vitamins around the time of conception may grow up predisposed to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
A study of ewes showed that reducing their intake of B12 and folate prior to pregnancy produced major physical effects in their future offspring. At two, the young sheep were 25 per cent fatter than normal, had significantly raised blood pressure and showed signs of insulin resistance. They also appeared to have altered and hypersensitive immune systems.
Males were affected far more than females. The sheep, the equivalent of 20 to 30 years old in human terms, are being monitored to see how they progress. Scientists believe they are likely to become obese, be prone to heart disease and afflicted by Type 2 diabetes. They think the same pattern might occur in humans, but is masked, as people grow older, by diet and lifestyle. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists discovered altered DNA in unborn lambs, which they suspect is a causal factor.
Source - Scotsman