High fat diet at conception? It’s a boy!

boy

Women who eat a full breakfast and a high fat diet at the time of conception are more likely to have a boy, scientists from the University of Missouri claim. A low fat diet with periods of long fasting creates the girl.

Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, University of Missouri, and colleagues said, “High calorie diets generally favor birth of males over females, whereas low calorie diets tend to favor females over males. In humans and mice, food restriction and suboptimal diet during the period around conception and early pregnancy also lead to a surfeit of daughters, most probably due to selective loss of male fetuses, the most vulnerable sex in the womb.”

It was also discovered that female fetuses were more sensitive to their mother’s diet and their genes were more likely to be impacted.

Researchers examined mice halfway through their pregnancies and discovered differences in almost 2,000 genes including those involved in kidney function and smell. They concluded gene expression in the mouse placenta is adaptive and influenced by maternal diet with the biggest effect on the females.

The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, follows and supports a study two years ago that found a woman’s diet may influence gender. They also found that a high calorie, high fat diet combined with regular breakfasts increase the odds for a boy. The odds can shift from ten to 11 boys in every 20 births.

The reasons for the increase in boys elude the researchers. “Women who had sons were also more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12,” said Dr. Rosenfeld. It could be something in the nutritional make up of the higher calorie diet.

Trends show a consistent decline in the number of boys born in industrialized countries. It could be that the popularity of the low carb, low fat diet and the tendency of working women to skip breakfast may be contributing to that trend.

Source: Telegraph Media Group


 
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