Your Grandmothers Diet Could affect your Child's Health


You've heard the cautionary mantra, "the sins of the father are visited upon the son" which originates from the bible. Well, a new study makes that also true for the sins of the mother and grandmother.

Scientists discovered that a mother's high fat diet may alter social behavior and promote neurodysfunction in her children and even grandchildren. As amazing as it sounds, bacteria in the gut contributes to both our good and not-so-good brain function. And the composition of these microbes can be altered by our diet.

The diet of our "Western" mothers can lead to obesity and metabolic problems as well as behavioral issues such as autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies show this link for mothers with less diverse gut microbes. The new study showed that giving a high fat diet to mouse mothers altered their gut microbiome and altered their offspring's brain development and social behavior. It even persisted into the next generation. This study builds on earlier work that showed a high fat maternal diet changes brain plasticity and social behavior. Plasticity is what allows our brains to respond to learning and experience.

Here is the cool part. The research showed that this may be reversable in the new generation through probiotics to make the gut microbe more diverse. If this research proves out in humans, probiotics could be prescribed along with a low cholesterol, whole grain and vegetable rich diet.

More Information

Maternal gut microbiota mediate intergenerational effects of high-fat diet on descendant social behavior
Dysbiosis of the maternal gut microbiome during pregnancy is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. We previously showed that maternal high-fat diet (MHFD) in mice induces gut dysbiosis, social dysfunction, and underlying synaptic plasticity deficits in male offspring (F1). Here, we reason that, if HFD mediated changes in maternal gut microbiota drive offspring social deficits, then MHFD-induced dysbiosis in F1 female MHFD offspring would likewise impair F2 social behavior...

Study Finds Grandmaternal High-fat Diet can Impair Social Behavior in Descendants
New research from investigators at the University of Texas Medical Branch finds that adverse effects of maternal high-fat diet on brain development and related disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, could carry over to a second generation of descendants. In essence, grandmaternal diets could impact brain development and behavior in their grandchildren...