Friday, March 16, 2012

Origin of Obesity traced to Womb: Study

A new study has suggested that environment in the womb decides the weight of the baby in its later years. This environment is governed by mother's diet and exposure to pollution or stress.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Plos one. In this study the researchers have found a link between the fetus in the womb and its chances of obesity in the later life.

They observed certain changes around the DNA at birth which they estimated to be the result of a mother's diet, exposure to pollution and stress.

Earlier, scientists have explained that the FTO gene is necessarily a deciding factor for obesity besides least childhood or adult diet. However, some other scientists have provided molecular changes called ‘epigenetics ‘to be the reason of overweight.

These molecular changes are believed to be caused partly by the environmental factors such as diet, stress, smoking or hormones, particularly in the womb.

In the present study Dr Caroline Relton, of Newcastle University and team took blood samples of 24 children aged 11 to 13 and identified epigenetic changes in the gene. They then compiled data of 178 other individuals and came to the given conclusion.

However, they have also opined that further study is needed to confirm this link. The study was different from others as it focused on the genes which were differently expressed in children with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI).

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