How early maternal dietary intakes affect biological aging in children

Maternal diet could be the most important exposure shaping childrens’ health outcomes. With this in mind, researchers at the University of Catania in Catania, Italy, examined the relationship between maternal intake of nutrients in early pregnancy and telomere length of cell-free circulating DNA (cfDNA) from amniotic fluid. Since amniotic fluid contains a greater amount of cfDNA than maternal serum, the authors point out that there is a growing interest in investigating the relationship between maternal diet and telomere length of cfDNA from amniotic fluid.

The research team used data and samples from the ongoing prospective “Mamma & Bambino” study, which recruits mother–child pairs from Catania at the first prenatal visit. Maternal nutrient intakes were assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire, while relative telomere length of cfDNA was assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Biological vs chronological age

In recent years, research on aging has experienced major advancements, including the discovery that the rate of aging can be  controlled–at least to some extent. According to Dr. Paul Clayton, who has researched, written and presented about the process of cellular aging, one’s chronological age and biological age are not necessarily the same. Clayton, who was not involved with this research, said some people age faster than their calendar years, while others age more slowly.

Clayton, a clinical pharmacologist and pharmaco-nutritionist, broke down the complicated process of cellular aging during a NutraCast episode​.

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