Women who eat poorly during pregnancy don’t just do harm to themselves. According to new research, insufficient nutrition during gestation can put a child at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
The study, conducted at the University of Oxford, also found that the genetic effects of aging were more pronounced for children whose mothers had eaten poorly during pregnancy. The data behind these results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists noted that female laboratory rodents fed an insufficient diet tended to have children who displayed an insufficient expression of the Hnf4a gene, a stretch of DNA implicated in the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The team concluded that that good nutrition is essential for mothers who want to give their children the best chance of avoiding type 2 diabetes, which is a common condition in the U.S.
A total of nearly 26 million Americans have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Individuals who want to ensure that they get sufficient levels of vitamins and nutrients may consider looking into nutritional and herbal supplements.