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Maternal Diet Affects Offspring Longevity In Mice

 
  February, 3 2004 11:10
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
Maternal diet can affect offspring longevity, in mice at least. The finding, reported in a Brief Communication in the 29 January 2004 issue of Nature (Vol. 427, No. 6973), may have implications for pregnant and breast-feeding human mothers.

When mice are fed a normal diet of 20% protein through pregnancy and lactation, their offspring live for around 2 years. Offspring of mothers fed normally during pregnancy and subsequently suckled by mothers on low-protein diets lived an average of 2 months longer, report Susan E. Ozanne and C. Nicholas Hales. Offspring of mothers given low-protein diets while pregnant, then normal diets postnatally, died around 6 months earlier than controls. This effect was exacerbated when the youngsters were later fed a sugar-rich, cafeteria-style diet.

The findings may have relevance for human nutrition and growth. "At the two extremes, the difference in lifespan increased by over 50 per cent," the authors say.

CONTACT:

Susan E. Ozanne
Addenbrookes Hospital
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK
Tel: +44 1223 762636
E-mail: seo10@cam.ac.uk

(C) Nature press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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