Mother's diet 'can lead to medical complications'

The diet of the mother during pregnancy may impact upon the health of her child in later life, it has been suggested.

According to Dr Branwen Hennig from the Medical Research Council International Nutrition Group based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, lifestyle traits may alter DNA methylation.

He suggests that this increases the risk of a child developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and type II diabetes.

"We think these epigenetic changes are established very early on in the womb," Dr Hennig predicts.

He and a team of fellow researchers are set to investigate further the effects of a mother's diet on the health of their offspring thanks to a £360,000 grant from the Wellcome Trust.

"Finding a link between these women's diet and epigenetic changes could ultimately have important implications for our understanding of long term health effects," Dr Hennig says.

Scientists from Newcastle University, UK, recently claimed that women who are obese during pregnancy are at an increased risk of suffering birth defects.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19044841-ADNFCR