My mother always told me I was made of spinach – because that’s what she ate during her pregnancy. Constantly. To the point where my father threatened not to come home for dinner again, lest he be presented with yet another plate of green stuff coated in cream sauce or sauted in olive oil.
It turns out, I’m only partially right. A new study says the genes of a fetus can mutate in the womb, based on what a mother ISN’T eating.
We all knew pregorexia was bad for baby, but this study points out that it’s more than a lack of development that’s being caused but actual development in the wrong direction.
The study at the University of Utah looked at pregnant rats to find how a lack of certain nutrients in the womb can create risk factors for certain diseases down the line. A mother rat whose fetus did not get proper nutrition was born smaller than his counterparts but also primed for heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. The researchers hope that this study could hold the key to helping develop a regimen for mothers to prevent health problems down the road for their babies.
Some of this is pretty common sense – you have to pack in the nutrition when you’re pregnant (and when you’re breastfeeding, natch). But knowing which nutrients are most important could be a lifesaver for moms like me – the moms who threw up for seven months. Did you eat differently when you were pregnant?