A 2014 Nutrition Journal study, led by Ian Myles, found that the dietary impact of fast food on our gut microbiome and our immune system from these foods, becomes encoded in our DNA and is passed on to our offspring. Before you eat your next fast food fries and shake you should take a quick look at what Myles and other studies had to say.. Read more….
The typical western diet is high in saturated fats, salt and simple carbohydrates. Combine that with a lack of exercise and soon you will notice the adipose (fat) tissue around your abdomen beginning to expand. An excess of fat cells releases inflammatory mediators that in time down regulate to become less responsive to inflammation and can ultimately affect our immune system. The inflammation destroys the microbiome, or the fauna and flora of the gut, leaving us vulnerable to allergies, cancer, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders.
“What we eat turns some genes up and some genes down and this, for better or worse, can be passed onto our children,” Myles says. “These changes could put your children at risk for autoimmunity, allergies, and an abnormal infection response,” he adds. There is a critical window of development during which you can pass along DNA that is harmful even if the child later mends the gut by eating healthy, the DNA is never fully repaired, according to the study.
It gets a little murkier. Paternal diet plays a part in the microbiome of the child, as well, and by the same mechanism of cells learning bad habits such as ignoring inflammation or over-reacting to allergens, paternal diet also is passed on and contributes to the overall immunological development of the offspring.
Not all may be lost. Before both sexes feel guilty about every handful of french-fries eaten, there is a study recently published that will hopefully, one day, help out. The Cornell led study published Nov 6 in the journal Cell, Is the first study to firmly establish that certain types of gut bacteria can be passed on to offspring that may actually fight obesity.
The study examined the gut bacteria of twins. The gut bacteria Christensenellaceae minuta (C.minuta) was found genetically to be more prevalent in larger amounts in lean individuals vs. overweight individuals, according to their body mass index. When C.minuta from the gut of lean humans was transplanted into germ-free mice, the result was that the bacteria promoted thinner mice.
This particular study gives fire to the human microbiome becoming a new destination for treatments for dietary changes and therapies to fight obesity. The study is likely to spur researchers to develop specific types of probiotics tailored to fight obesity and other health related diseases.
In the meantime, really think about how much you “take out” you eat as well as how much processed “junk” food you are eating. I am pressed to believe the probiotic study gains in traction as researchers jump on the potential probiotics have to offer. It also brings us to the conclusion that heritable bacteria in our gut can affect our weight with a genetic component that for better or worse can be passed onto our offspring.