Overfeeding in childhood contributes to early diabetes. The supercharged mice during their lactation stage suffer alterations in the pancreas of old age when they are still young, which prevent this organ from regulating sugar and increase the risk of early diabetes.
The overfeeding and overweight and childhood obesity can have negative consequences for health throughout life as cause diabetes and accelerate aging , and scientists try to figure out why. Now, new research in mice has focused on finding out the effects of excessive calorie intake on the pancreatic islets of Langerhans , where insulin is produced.
In this essay, carried out at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (USA), and published in the Environmental Epigenetics magazine , it has been proven that overfeeding during the lactation stage of rodents causes them to suffer aging Accelerated epigenetic in that area of the pancreas , so that it behaves like that of an old man and is unable to regulate blood sugar , which increases the risk of developing diabetes.
The researchers discovered that animals that had been supercharged in the first 21 days of life (which is equivalent to their period of breastfeeding) were overweight and experienced epigenetic modifications in those areas of the pancreas much earlier than those animals that received a normal diet.
Overfeeding in childhood contributes to early diabetes : The organism of the supercharged mice aged before
The epigenetic are the molecular mechanisms that regulate which genes to be expressed, and to what degree. The epigenome is different depending on the tissue and cells of the organism and also changes throughout life or depending on the health of the individual. One of the epigenetic mechanisms is DNA methylation , a chemical process that can silence the expression of a gene.
The researchers used two groups of mice to conduct their experiment; one received a normal diet, and the other was supercharged during breastfeeding, and analyzed how this methylation had occurred in the genome of the pancreatic islets at 21 days of age, when breastfeeding ended, and 180 days after birth, which is the adult age of a mouse.
Thus they found that in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans of the mice that received a normal diet, DNA methylation occurred as they aged, while in rodents that had been supercharged that methylation occurred as soon as they abandoned breastfeeding (21 days after his birth). They even found that this methylation was similar to that presented by normally fed mice when they were already very old.
Dr. Robert A. Waterland, professor of pediatrics, nutrition and molecular and human genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, and one of the authors of the work, has stated that in these days in which we attend an overfeeding escalation and obesity during childhood, optimizing the nutrition of children in critical periods of their development can be a very effective tool to prevent diseases in adulthood.
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