Thursday, October 6, 2016

'Nutrition gap' behind issue of disease inheritance

In July 2016, Science published research from Queen Mary University of London, King’s College London and University of Cambridge, where scientists ‘speculated’, following their studies on mice, that the nutritional quality of a mother’s diet during pregnancy has a huge say in determining offspring attributes such as weight and even susceptibility to chronic conditions. Jeez, you don’t say? I know researchers need to keep researching, but these sorts of studies, apart from the results being self-evident to any thoughtful, sensible individual, frustrate me beyond belief. 

It’s a fact! Excellent preconception diets (both his and hers) backed up by an excellent maternal diet during pregnancy, profoundly and positively impact he developing foetus and increase the likelihood that individual will live a life free of chronic degenerative disease. The effects carry across generations too. Conversely, poor preconception and pregnancy nutrient intake (and I include the standard Western diet in my ’poor’ frame of reference) contribute to poorer reproductive outcomes and increase the chance of a child who will suffer a life-time of less than robust physical and mental health. Ditto for epigenetic effects.This is fact - not supposition!

We’ve known for generations, there are multiple historical precedents, we have Dr. Weston Price’s work from the 1930s, Professor David Barker’s work in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, admittedly the “Barker Hypothesis” for thirty years but now widely accepted as fact, then Foresight Association’s work spanning forty years and involving research institutions around the world, all supported by thousands of individual studies linking enhanced nutrient intake with better reproductive outcomes. Farmers and stock-breeders know all about it - they never breed their animals unless they are in optimally nourished, non-stressed condition.

So here’s an idea for researchers … how do we get the general population to listen up and take responsibility for the health of the next generation and generations beyond? Maybe we could start with a wellness-focused model of healthcare? Maybe we could reward practitioners for keeping their clients well, for keeping them out of the clinic and out of hospital? Maybe medical insurers could reward their members for never making a claim?  Wow, now there are some novel ideas! What would it take for scientists to get behind them instead of constantly re-inventing the wheel?

Well one thing it takes is for me to keep on keeping on with my personal Better Babies campaign,  coming to you now as a 10-module webinar series. 

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