Maternal obesity hastens ageing
It has long been
known that obesity impairs our metabolism and predisposes to diabetes and heart
disease. New research in The Journal of Physiology has shown that the
effects of maternal obesity even pass across generations to offspring,
accelerating the rate of ageing of metabolic problems that occur in normal
Researchers at the Salvador Zubiran National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, in Mexico City and University of Wyoming at Laramie, studied offspring of obese rat mothers. They observed the offspring throughout their lives (puberty, early adult life, late adult life and early ageing) to determine the rate at which they aged. Offspring of obese mothers had more body fat and showed early prediabetic signs such as an early rise in insulin resistance and increasing susceptibility to diabetes. Offspring of the obese mothers also showed impaired function of their mitochondria, the power stations of cells that generate the energy which the cells need to function properly.