Diet of moms-to-be can up cancer risk in two generations - Health & Families - Life and Style - The Independent

Diet of moms-to-be can up cancer risk in two generations

In case you thought pregnancy was the one time to indulge in all things fatty, think again. Researchers from Georgetown University are to present their findings at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting ending on April 21 in Washington DC showing that excessive fat intake while pregnant increases breast cancer risk in their daughters and granddaughters.

Sonia de Assis, PhD, researcher at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues found breast cancer is possibly an epigenetic trait that is also passed from mothers to their son on to their granddaughters.

The researchers conducted an animal study, finding that a high fat diet consumed by grandmother rats (43 percent more fat but not excessive calories than the control group) while both the daughters and granddaughters maintained normal diets led to increased breast cancer risk, specifically granddaughters born to parents that both had fat-loving mothers had an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer and 69 percent if only one of the grandmother's had a high fat diet.

The importance of this research emphasizes that while pregnant your food choices can have long-term positive or negative health impacts for generations. So think twice about that bag of potato chips because you are eating for more than two.

For more information on AACR 101st Annual Meeting, video podcasts of interviews and sessions, go to: http://www.aacr.org/home/scientists/meetings-workshops/aacr-101st-annual-meeting-2010.aspx

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