The genes of progeny are dependant on a fairly simple factor - A mother's diet during pregnancy which is potent enough to impact the genes of the future generation. In the experiment conducted by researchers, supplements consumed by expectant mice were seen to impact generation of offsprings. The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To quote the researchers," Although researchers have long known that there is a connection between a mother's diet and her children's health, this is the first case in which the relationship between a mother's diet and the biology of her grandchildren has been mapped to a single gene and a defined diet. It is possible that the maternal diet could have implications that stretch over decades, perhaps centuries."
During the study, scientists bred yellow haired female and male mice and separated pregnant mice into two groups. A normal diet was fed to one group. While another group got special supplements like folic acid and Vitamin B-12. The experiment revealed that mice which consumed fortified food for seven days stood a chance of having offsprings with brown-hair. Further, when the babies grow up, their children are more likely to have brown hair, despite consuming normal food, the scientists said.
This experiment led the scientists to opine that supplements in the diet could have a lasting impact on the mice's color gene that could influence two generations in the least.
"We found that even when we stopped providing specific supplements during pregnancy, the past effect of supplements persisted. Our work provides convincing evidence of complex transgenerational effects of nutrition on health, and provides an experimental model for exploring these relationships in detail", the researchers concluded.