Epigenetics – Effects of Mom’s Metabolic Health During Pregnancy with Dr. John Kral
Epigenetics: The Power of Nurture of Nature……how our environment & lifestyle choices (nurture) can change our genetic code (nature). This is a fascinating,powerful demonstration of how our lifestyle choices – good and bad – change our DNA.
The good news is…we are NOT helpless against our perceived genetic doom!
How a mother’s level of body fat impacts the gestational environment – the amniotic fluid – and can alter the developing baby’s DNA – yet another aspect of obesity. How obesity in pregnancy could affect “fetal programming” of adult disease.
DNA Methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that can turn up or turn down so to speak gene expression.
DNA was studied from siblings born to the same parents – older sibling before the mother had weight loss surgery, younger siblings after mother had the surgery.
Children born before surgery had a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes & less insulin sensitivity – poorer metabolic health.
However – it must be noted this is not a hopeless situation – by adopting a healthier lifestyle – these offspring can happily lead a healthier life.
Dr. John Kral, Professor of Surgery and Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY received his M.A. degree in Psychology in 1961 from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he then attended medical school, completed specialty training in Surgery and subsequently defended a Ph.D. thesis entitled Surgical Reduction of Adipose Tissue in 1976.
In 1972, Dr. Kral participated in establishing the program for surgical treatment of obesity at the University of Gothenburg as project coordinator
In 1980, Dr. Kral was recruited to St. Luke’s Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons to develop a program of surgical metabolism and anti-obesity surgery where he investigated eating behavior and continued studies on severe obesity and effects of long-term maintenance of significant weight loss on body composition after malabsorptive and gastric restrictive operations. He was a member of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition Task Force that developed guidelines for surgical treatment of obesity 1982-85 was a co-founder of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery in 1983, and was the driving force behind the 1991 NIH Consensus Development Conference entitled Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity.
Dr. Kral’s contribution to our understanding of the metabolic influence on genetics & epigenetics over the years is truly astounding & my hope is we all get a much better, deeper appreciation of the impact of the lifestyle choices we make – for ourselves & for those we love.Because as complicated as so much of this sounds – please keep in mind – choices we tend to not really think about – food choices, saying I dont have time for exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol……all work at a much more omnipotent level than just our clothing size.