By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
I love the subject of diet and health. It makes me feel empowered that every time I sit down with a meal, I am sending information into my system that can help heal my body.
My homepage blog (https://dr-lobisco.com/evidence-of-the-power-of-diet-on-health/) discussed the power of food on heart health, asthmatic children, skin beauty, and mood.
Below is more evidence on the power of food and how it impacts our future generation:
Fat Intake and Hefty Baby
In a study of 12,583 nonpregnant women in 1997 whom delivered babies before December 31, 2003, 293 mother-child pairs had complete measurements of maternal plasma levels of poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) concentrations (the more inflammatory fats) to study the effect on birth outcomes.
The researchers compared the associations between maternal plasma of PUFA status vs. more anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. They made the comparison at 34 wk gestation and the resulting offspring body composition later in life.
Conclusions: This observational study suggests that maternal n-6 PUFA status during pregnancy might influence offspring adiposity in childhood.
Moon, et al. Maternal Plasma Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Status in Late Pregnancy Is Associated with Offspring Body Composition in Childhood (abstract). http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/98/1/299.abstract?sid=17e3b9ac-f76a-4c45-86a7-06d7e51143f7. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. (98):1, 299-307. January 1, 2013.
Caffeine Intake and Little Baby
Seems like coffee could also negatively affect outcomes on baby:
A study of 60,000 women in Sweden found that babies’ birth weight decreased 21 to 28g for every 100mg of caffeine consumed a day.
Consumption of caffeine from all sources was also found to lengthen pregnancy terms by a rate of five hours per 100 mg of caffeine a day. Moreover, that figure spiked to an even longer gestational length when caffeine intake came specifically from coffee: eight extra hours for every 100 mg of caffeine a day.
Daily News. Caffeine during pregnancy linked to longer terms, lower birth weights: study. AFP RELAXNEWS. February 20, 2013. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/caffeine-linked-longer-pregnancies-birth-weights-article-1.1268830#ixzz2LZtnO2zS
Verena Sengpiel. Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with birth weight but not with gestational length: results from a large prospective observational cohort study. BMC Medicine. 2013. 11:42 doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-42. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1741-7015-11-42.pdf
What about Gluten?
The following excerpt explains the connection of eating a gluten diet and symptoms in children who are sensitive to this grain:
“For the previous 250,000 years, man had evolved without having this very strange protein in his gut,” Dr. Guandalini said. “And as a result, this is a really strange, different protein which the human intestine cannot fully digest. Many people did not adapt to these great environmental changes, so some adverse effects related to gluten ingestion developed around that time.”
The primary proteins in wheat gluten are glutenin and gliadin, and gliadin contains repeating patterns of amino acids that the human digestive system cannot break down. (Gluten is the only substance that contains these proteins.) People with celiac have one or two genetic mutations that somehow, when pieces of gliadin course through the gut, cause the immune system to attack the walls of the intestine in a case of mistaken identity. That, in turn, causes fingerlike structures called villi that absorb nutrients on the inside of the intestines to atrophy, and the intestines can become leaky, wreaking havoc. Symptoms, which vary widely among people with the disease, can include vomiting, chronic diarrhea or constipation and diminished growth rates in children.
The vast majority of people who have celiac do not know it. And not everyone who has the genetic mutations develops celiac.
What worries doctors is that the problem seems to be growing. After testing blood samples from a century ago, researchers discovered that the rate of celiac appears to be increasing. Why is another mystery. Some blame the wheat, as some varieties now grown contain higher levels of gluten, because gluten helps provide the springy inside and crusty outside desirable in bread. (Blame the artisanal bakers.)
There are also people who are allergic to wheat (not necessarily gluten), but until recently, most experts had thought that celiac and wheat allergy were the only problems caused by eating the grain.