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A mother’s overweight may increase the risks of liver cancer for generations, mouse research suggests

A mother’s overweight may increase the risks of liver cancer for generations, mouse research suggests

  • Researchers fed mice a high-fat diet so they would become obese and then expose them to a carcinogen in the liver
  • The diet overexpressed a gene that is abnormally expressed in different types of cancer
  • This increased the chances of the mother’s children developing liver cancer and future generations
  • A mouse was more prone to developing liver cancer if their mother and grandmother were obese as opposed to just one of the two

One mom’s obesity could put liver cancer at risk for years offspring, a new study suggests.

Researchers found in experiments with mice that a high-fat diet that led to gene expression appears to transmit susceptibility to liver cancer.

In addition, this has also increased the chance of developing liver cancer in their offspring and over several future generations.

The Wuhan University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology team – both in Wuhan, China – say the findings show that the risk of liver cancer is not a result of the child’s exposure to a high-fat diet, but rather changes in the main genes in maternal DNA.

A new study from Wuhan, China, found that mothers of mice fed a high-fat diet overexpressed a gene that is usually abnormally expressed in different types of cancer (file image)

A new study from Wuhan, China, found that mothers of mice fed a high-fat diet overexpressed a gene that is usually abnormally expressed in different types of cancer (file image)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.4 percent of the U.S. adult population is obese and 18.5 percent of the U.S. children are obese.

Obesity is known as a risk factor for several chronic health problems, including type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and even certain types of cancer.

Experts have warned that the proportion of obese adults will only increase as younger generations.

Health officials say tackling the obesity epidemic will not only improve health outcomes, but also reduce medical costs.

For the study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, the team fed mice a high-fat diet so they would become obese.

Researchers then gave the rodents diethylnitrosamine, an organic compound that is an extremely powerful carcinogen in the liver, so they would develop liver cancer.

Then they looked at all the genes that had been changed for generations.

They found that maternal obesity caused by a high-fat diet led to a higher chance of developing liver cancer.

In addition, the risk of developing liver cancer increased from generation to generation if they were all overweight

This means that a mouse with an obese mother and an obese grandmother is more likely to develop cancer than a mouse with an obese mother but a normal weight grandmother.

“Maternal obesity, which directly affects the health of the offspring, plays a critical role in the obesity epidemic and metabolic disease,” the authors wrote.

Epidemiological studies show that obesity is an independent risk factor for liver cancer. Our research provides insight into whether and how maternal obesity influences the incidence of tumors in offspring. ‘

Researchers say there is a gene, miR-27a-3p, that is abnormally expressed in different types of cancer, such as liver cancer and colorectal cancer.

Levels of this gene can be a warning of how high a person’s risk is.

“For pregnant mothers, the serum level of miR-27a-3p is critical to offspring health and can be used as a diagnostic or predictive biomarker in the future,” said Dr. Ling Zheng, professor at the College of Life Sciences at Wuhan University.

“We therefore call for a global effort in maternal multigenerational obesity in humans to better address this common problem we are facing.”

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