January 10, 2013
Obesity Due To High Fetal Polyunsaturated Fat Exposure?

Yet another theory on why the obesity epidemic. If pregnant moms ate less vegetable oil and more fish oil their babies might not be so fat. Of course no cause and effect is proved from the observed pattern.

Southampton researchers have demonstrated that mothers who have higher levels of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are found in cooking oils and nuts, during pregnancy have fatter children.

The study, carried out by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, assessed the fat and muscle mass of 293 boys and girls at four and six years, who are part of the Southampton Women's Survey (SWS), a large prospective mother-offspring cohort.

Their assessments were compared to the concentrations of PUFAs which were measured in blood samples collected from their mothers during pregnancy.

The study, published in the January edition of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that children who were born to mothers who had had greater levels of n-6 PUFAs during pregnancy had greater fat mass.

Dr Nicholas Harvey, Senior Lecturer at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, who led the research with Dr Rebecca Moon, Clinical Research Fellow, comments: "Obesity is a rising problem in this country and there have been very few studies of mother's fatty acid levels during pregnancy and offspring fat mass. These results suggest that alterations to maternal diet during pregnancy to reduce n-6 PUFAs intake might have a beneficial effect on the body composition of the developing child."

More omega 3 fatty acids are associated with more muscle and bone in the baby.

Results from the study also showed weaker associations between a mother's levels of n-3 PUFAs, more commonly known as omega 3 and found in fish oil, and muscle mass in their offspring the higher the level of n-3 the less fat and more muscle and bone in the baby.

Too much fructose? Too much refined grain? Too much omega-6 fatty acids? Not enough omega-3 fatty acids? If you reverse modern dietary trends you might not know exactly what helps but one of the things you change could provide benefits.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 January 10 08:46 PM 


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