How women are fed during pregnancy has a direct impact on their child.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
A diet rich in animal fats is not usually recommended. However, researchers at Lewis Katz University's Temple University School of Medicine have shown for the first time in mice that eating high-fat dams during pregnancy protects their offspring from brain changes in Alzheimer's disease.
Descendants of mice prone to Alzheimer's had better memory testing and learning abilities if mothers received fatty foods during pregnancy. This returned the researchers to improvements in synapse function. Synapses are nerve cells that carry information – an important process of learning and memory formation.
In addition, less beta-amyloid accumulates in nerve cells compared to the offspring of mothers who received a standard diet. It is a protein that causes nerve cells to malfunction in Alzheimer's disease and ultimately to significant memory and learning disorders. Scientists have shown that a high-fat diet effectively eliminated three genes involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease in the early stages of offspring development.
As this was a mouse study, direct recommendations for pregnant women cannot be derived from the results. Nevertheless, the author of the study, prof. Dr. Sc. Domenico Praticò: "Our work shows that the prevention of Alzheimer's disease must start very early in life to be effective during pregnancy." Dieting at this stage of life can have crucial, but underestimated, long-term effects on brain health. "
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