About fetal programming

Fetal programming is an emerging concept that links environmental conditions during embryonic and fetal development with risk of diseases later in life.

Epidemiological observations as well as clinical and experimental studies support the concept of fetal programming as the origin of a number of diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes and allergic diseases.

The fetal environment is influenced by several factors including the intake of macro- and microntrients and toxic compounds by the mother. The genome as such is not changed in the programmed individual, but the causative factors may affect the expression of genes in a way that have lasting effects on the metabolic functions. The critical issue is that fetal programming is even transmitted to the next generations.

However, the molecular mechanisms that are involved in this fetal programming are far from understood, and Centre for Fetal Programming aims to unravel the impact of maternal dietary factors on childhood health.

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Last revised 6 October 2015