Study Results

NEST in the News

Your participation in NEST has led to some exciting findings! Results from studies suggest that nutrition during pregnancy may affect the health status of your children and grandchildren. These effects, that are passed down through generations are thought to be explained by changes in chemical marks that attach to our DNA.  These discoveries will move science forward for the next 10 years.

  • We were recently featured on NPR and Duke Research profiles. To read more, search for “How a Pregnant Woman’s Choices Could Shape a Child’s Health” and “Environmental Influences on Health, Starting Before Birth”.1, 2
  • High stress during pregnancy resulted in abnormal levels of chemicals that control children’s genes (epigenetics). Reducing stress during pregnancy could be helpful in decreasing levels of these chemicals.3
  • Antibiotic use during pregnancy was associated with lower birth weight.
  • Recommended levels of folate intake during pregnancy have a positive impact on birth weight. Folate rich foods include spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, romaine lettuce, avocado, and beef liver.5, 6
  • Higher intake of folate and iron was associated with lower levels of toxic metals in the body. A healthy diet may decrease the impact of toxic metals in the body.7
  • Fathers can also influence a child’s health. We found babies whose fathers were obese had less of a chemical that turns a gene in the body on and off. 8, 9

Stay tuned!!!

Click here to see all NEST Publications

1.; 2.; 3. Vidal A et al., Maternal stress, preterm birth, and DNA methylation at imprint regulatory sequences in humans; Genetics & Epigenetics, 2014; 4. Vidal A et al., Associations between antibiotic exposure during pregnancy, birth weight and aberrant methylation at imprinted genes among offspring. International Journal of Obesity, 2013; 5. Hoyo C et al., Erythrocyte folate concentrations, CpG methylation at genomically imprinted domains, and birth weight in a multiethnic newborn cohort. Epigenetics, 2014; 6.; 7. Luo Y et al.., Associations between Circulating Levels of Nutrients and Toxic Metals in Pregnant Women. Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting Abstract, 2015 ; 8. Soubry A et al., Paternal obesity is associated with IGF2 hypomethylation in newborns: results from a Newborn Epigenetics Study (NEST) cohort. BMC Medicine, 2013; 9. Soubry A et al., Newborns of obese parents have altered DNA methylation patterns at imprinted genes; International Journal of Obesity, 2013

3 thoughts on “Study Results

  1. Vi Rajagopalan

    As a psychologist all this is exciting, the more we know the biomarkers, biology and epigenesis of growth and development, the better are othe chances to develop interventions that can start early and thereby even have a chance to reverse the negative effects or even for that matter develop proactive measures. All the best in receiving funds and supports that your research continues in this area without disruptions.

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