Have you heard of this book?
It is, hands down, the best book I have ever read on nutrition.
And I have read many. A vain, shameful amount, really.
The author, Catherine Shanahan, is medical doctor as well as a molecular biologist. She also is very involved in the science of traditional nutrition. That this book is written by someone of such credentials is very important to my husband, who has finally given some credence my mad rants about raw milk and bone broths.
Dr. Shanahan is highly trained and very technical in her understanding of the depth of the role that nutrition plays not only in our bodies, but the bodies of our offspring and so on. Therefore, a good portion of the book reads like (what I assume would be) a molecular biology textbook, but it is worth dissecting and understanding. I want to share a few of the most interesting things with you over the next few weeks. I always have it in the back of my mind that mommies are the first line of both defense and offense in the health of the next generation. I just never realized the extent to which this is true. What we put into our bodies affects us on the genetic level, and while anomalies may not manifest themselves in our own lives presently, be quite assured that a poor diet will negatively impact you in the near future, and your children exponentially more so!
Wow, that was kind of ominous.
There are plenty of easy, affordable ways to care for your "temple". And nothing that has been done cannot be undone, in time.
Will you scan through this book with me?
"You can see evidence of this retraining in laboratory animals. Dr. Randy Jirtle at Duke University studied the effects of nutrient fortification on a breed of mice, called aguouti, known for their yellow color and predisposition for developing severe obesity and subsequent diabetes. Starting with a female agouti raised on ordinary mouse chow, he fed her super-fortified pellets enriched with vitamin B12, folic acid, choline, and betaine and mated her to another agouti male. Instead of the usual, overweight, unhealthy yellow-coat babies she would normally give birth to, she instead bore brown mice that developed normally. You could interpret this study as follows: The agouti breed has regulatory DNA that has essentially been brain damaged by some past traumas in the history of the lineage. As a result, agouti chromosomes, unlike other mice, are typically incapable of building healthy, normal offspring. In this study, researchers were able to rehabilitate the agouti's genome by blasting the sleepy genes with enough nutrients to wake them up, reprogramming their genes for better function.
"This has enormous implications for us, as researchers are finding abnormal regulatory scars all over our genes, records of our ancestors' experiences- even with the weather. Toward the end of WWII, an usually harsh winter combined with a German-imposed food embargo led to death by starvation of some 30,000 people. Those who survived suffered from a range of developmental and adult disorders, including low birth weight, diabetes, coronary artery disease, breast and other cancers. A group of Dutch researchers has associated this exposure with the birth of smaller-than-normal grandchildren. This finding is remarkable as it suggests the effects of a pregnant woman's diet can ripple, at the least, into the next two generations. Unlike the agouti mice, which required massive doses of vitamins, these people would possibly respond well to normal or only slightly above normal levels of nutrients as their genes have been affected only for a short while- just a generation or two (unlike the mice)- meaning it might not take quite so much extra nutrition to wake them up".
It certainly has made me think twice about the food I am putting into this body with baby #4, especially since all of my pregnancies have been in the short period of 5 years. What do you think? Do you know the health your mother was in? Your grandmother?