How moms give breast cancer to daughters and grandaughters
Study links fatty diet to genetic switch.
A new study shows that mothers who eat a lot of fatty foods during pregnancy can increase their daughters' and even their granddaughters' risk of breast cancer. The study suggests that fatty foods can alter the genes of an unborn baby.
Decisions mom makes when pregnant can affect her children and generations beyond.
Scientists at Georgetown University performed their study on rats, feeding the pregnant animals a fatty diet. Their offspring were then fed normal food for the next two generations. The females of the next two generations showed a significantly higher risk of developing breast tumors, despite eating normally.
Researchers must now be demonstrate the same in humans, but they think, regardless of difference between humans and rats, the findings clearly show that an unborn baby's genes can be affected by the amount of fatty foods the mother consumes.
Researchers believe the mechanism involves female sex hormones, which become elevated in women who consume fatty foods, specifically estrogen. Women with high levels of lifetime exposure to estrogen are already at greater risk of developing breast cancer. Add a genetic proclivity and it becomes clear why the disease seems to run in families.
It's believed that if a mother consumes a fatty diet, she can literally flip a genetic switch that makes cells more likely to become cancerous later in the unborn child's life, as well as in the lives of its offspring who will now inherit the same genes.
It does not matter if the child consumes a healthy diet, the genes are already at elevated risk of mutation.
Subsequently, scientists recommend that expecting mothers avoid foods that have high fat content and that they do not eat extra food for the baby's sake. Healthy eating recommendations include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein and legumes.
Regardless of the outcome of future studies, consumption of a fatty diet at anytime, especially during pregnancy, can do little to support personal health of both mother and child. Therefore, it remains sensible to follow a healthy diet anyway.
The journal, Nature Communications, published the study in their current issue.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Moms, breast cancer, pregnancy, diet, risk, estrogen
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Health News
- Study suggests that menopause affects a woman's memory - especially if accompanied by hot flashes
- Forget printing guns, doctors use 3D printer to save baby
- Is it really that simple? - Research suggests ordinary vitamin C kills drug-resistant TB
- Chamomile tea can be refreshing treat - as well as a safeguard against cancer, researchers say
- HIV resurgent among Navajo tribe as deadly cases spike
- UK to give cancer patients genetic analysis just like Angelina Jolie
- Vitamin D found beneficial in treating asthma symptoms
- Study: Depressed women in 40s, 50s suffer more than twice for stroke risk
- Some experts say it's biologically possible to clone a human
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?