A new study suggests that children of parents who consume a high-fat diet tend to get obesity and diabetes. It is said that epigenetic factors are transmitted directly through eggs and sperm.
Over the last decades, concerns have been risen due to the rapid increase in diabetes. Unlikely, DNA seems to be blame for this sitation.
As parents pass on genetic information to their offsprings, it is believed that they can also transmit epigenetic modifications to their future generations. Thus, epigenetic inheritance may give some explanation for the current serious situation.
Epigenetic inheritance is the situations in which some traits that not refers to genes or the DNA are passed on to the next generations. That kind of information is suspected of involving chemical modifications of the chromation and also RNA transcripts.
According to Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin, who conducted that study, that parents can transmit their personal traits to their baby results from the environmental influence. Yet the level of impacts of environment towards future outcomes still remains unclear.
What the mother consume high-fat diet during the time she is lactating or pregnant is considered one of the factors that pose impacts on children’s future health. To work out whether it is true, Peter Huypens and his colleagues from Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany fed mice at 3 levels of diet: high-fat, normal and low-fat during a period of 6 weeks. The mice in that experience are genetically identical.
The results show that mice with high-fat diet become obese and intolerant of glucose.
After that, they implanted embryos using eggs and sperm from the mices which had comsumed different types of diets into healthy surrogate mothers so as to create a new generation of mice.
The new mice generation, also, consumed high-fat diets.
Offsprings of two obese mices gained much more weight after high-fat diet than those from only one obese parent. Babies of two thin parents grown up with the least weight. About glucose intolerance, they followed the same patterns.
However, males are more affected by glucose levels while females are more likely to get involved in obesity.
The maternal influence seems to be even greater than it of the parents. With human, it is the same, said Prof. Johannes Beckers.
According to Prof. Martin Hrabě de Angelis, director of the Institute of Experimental Genetics (IEG), epigenetic inheritance may be one of the major factors provoking the radical global increase in diabetes since the 1960s.