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Science Café to discuss how maternal nutrition effects offspring

Published: 02 May 2011

The connection between maternal nutrition and the well being of offspring will be explored at the next Science Café scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Stokers Basement in the Hotel Donaldson, downtown Fargo.

Larry Reynolds, University Distinguished Professor, will present "You Are What Your Mother Ate: How Maternal Nutrition Might Determine Health and Well Being of Her Offspring (and Beyond!)" to explain one of the major emerging concepts in all of biology and medicine – fetal or developmental programming.

In the past 20 plus years, research in developmental programming has shown that various maternal factors such as malnutrition, age, genotype and stress may affect not only fetal and postnatal growth and development, but also may profoundly influence health and well being of the offspring as adults. For example, poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy can lead to a much greater incidence of metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) in her offspring once they reach adulthood, and even can have similar health consequences in subsequent generations.

Reynolds also will describe how various large animal models, including several of his research group’s models in sheep, have contributed to our understanding of the basis of developmental programming and, most importantly, are providing promising and relatively simply strategies that clinicians and livestock producers might be able to use to minimize the negative consequences of developmental programming.

For more information about this Science Café and others, contact Keri Drinka at or 1-6131.

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North Dakota State University
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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013