It’s common knowledge that a mother’s diet during pregnancy makes a measurable difference in the health of her child. Now, new research suggests that what a mom eats before becoming pregnant might be important, too. According to a study in the online edition of The FASEB Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the foods eaten by a
group of non-pregnant female mice chemically altered their DNA, and these changes were later passed on to their offspring. The DNA alterations, called “epigenetic” changes, due to an inadequate maternal diet dramatically reduced the animals’ ability to metabolize many essential fatty acids that are essential to health.