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Home Industry News Parental diets ‘can affect immunity among offspring’

Parental diets ‘can affect immunity among offspring’

28th November 2017

A close relationship has been identified between parental diets and the immunity of their offspring in a new study.

The University of Sydney research examined data from 38 published papers covering a range of animal species, including rodents, primates and birds, to show how parental diets can have an impact on their offspring's immune systems after birth.

Poor parental nutrition was shown to negatively affect many traits in children, including disease resistance, with the effects of a parental diet on immunity shown to be maintained in offspring in the short term, even if offspring were on the normal diet for their species.

Further research is now needed to determine whether this trend leads to long-term health consequences, and whether these effects can be reversed if children continue to eat a healthy diet as they grow.

Co-author Professor Stephen Simpson, from the University of Sydney's school of life and environmental sciences, said: "We already know that parents need to be mindful of maintaining a healthy diet, not only during pregnancy but also before they conceive. This study demonstrates that the impacts of a parent's diet can extend beyond birth to affect the health of the child."

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