Unhealthy Diet during Pregnancy Could Be Linked To ADHD

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During pregnancy, healthy diet ensures that baby is getting best start as possible. A healthy diet provides proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to the baby as well as pregnant women. So, it is beneficial to have a healthy diet during pregnancy. A recent study shows that high-fat, high sugar diet during pregnancy links to ADHD symptoms in children. Furthermore, ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Thus, this may cause problem problems early in life. This recent study was done by scientists from King’s College London in collaboration with the University of Bristol.

The study indicates epigenetic changes evident at birth. This may explain the link between unhealthy diet, conduct problems, and ADHD. ADHD causes children mental problem. This disorder tends to arise in tandem. It can also be traced back to very similar fetal experiences like maternal distress or poor nutrition.

This new study was conducted on Bristol-based Children of the 90s cohort and 83 children with the early-onset problem. After that, they were compared with 81 children who had low levels of conduct problems. Through this, scientists determine how the mothers’ nutrition affected Epigenetic changes or DNA Methylation of IGF2. IGF2, a gene involved in fetal development and the brain development of areas involve in ADHD- the cerebellum and Hippocampus. Although, DNA IGF2 Methylation was previously found in children of mothers who unveiled to famine in the Netherlands during World War II.

Researchers found, poor fetal nutrition, consist high fat and sugar diets of process food and confectionary, combined with higher IGF2 Methylation in children with early onset conduct problems and those with low conduct problems.

Higher IGF2 Methylation also combined higher ADHD symptoms between the ages of 7 and 13. But, only for children who showed an early onset of conduct problems.

Dr. Edward Barker from King’s College London said, “Our finding shows that poor fetal nutrition combines higher IGF2 Methylation highlights the critical importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy. The results suggest that promoting a healthy prenatal diet may ultimately lower ADHD symptoms and conduct problems in children. This is encouraging given that nutritional and Epigenetic risk factors can be altered.”

“Now we need to analyze more specific types of nutrition. For example, the types of fats such as omega 3 fatty acids, from fish, walnuts, and chicken are extremely important for neural development. We already know that nutritional supplements for children can cause lower ADHD and conduct problems. So it will be important for future research to examine the role of Epigenetic changes in this process,” he added.

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