Let the blame game begin. In addition to our lifestyle habits, our mothers could have something to do with those stubborn pounds that dont seem to shed. An interesting obesity studying involving DNA methylation has provided new evidence suggesting that obese moms give birth to kids who have a propensity to become even more obese.
The study, conducted at Baylor College of Medicine, took a close look at the impact of of maternal obesity in three generations of genetically identical mice, all with the same genetic tendency to overeat.
Researchers, led by Dr. Robert Waterland, hypothesized that “maternal obesity before and during pregnancy affects the establishment of body weight regulatory mechanisms in her baby. Maternal obesity could promote obesity in the next generation.”
Waterland and his colleagues provided one group of mice a standard diet; the other a diet supplemented with the nutrients folic acid, vitamin B12, betaine and choline. The special ‘methyl supplemented’ diet enhances DNA methylation, a chemical reaction that silences genes.
The result? According to Waterland, “Indeed, those on the regular diet got fatter and fatter with each generation. Those in the supplemented group, however, did not.”
The group believes DNA Methylation might be involved. “We think DNA methylation may play an important role in the development of the hypothalamus (the region of the brain that regulates appetite),” said Waterland.
Get on the details on the study at International Journal of Obesity, September 2008