Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother’s immunity

Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother's immunitySex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother’s immunity
A study reveals would-be mothers, carrying female fetuses may exhibit a heightened inflammatory response that can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

According to researchers, women, over the years, have claimed that body of a mother, carrying male and female baby, react differently.

The study, published in journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, shows the sex of a baby is associated with pregnant women’s immune responses.

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune response involved in wound healing and responses to viruses, bacteria and chronic illnesses and excessive inflammation is stressful to the body and can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

Researchers from the Ohio State University’s wexner medical center in the US followed 80 pregnant women across the course of their pregnancy and examined whether women exhibited different levels of immune markers called cytokines based on fetal sex.

The analyses were conducted on levels of cytokines in the blood and levels produced by a sample of immune cells that were exposed to bacteria in the lab.

“While women didn’t exhibit differences in blood cytokine levels based on fetal sex, we did find that the immune cells of women carrying female fetuses produced more pro-inflammatory cytokines when exposed to bacteria,” said principal investigator of the study Amanda Mitchell.

“This means that women carrying female fetuses exhibited a heightened inflammatory response when their immune system was challenged, compared to women carrying male fetuses,” Mitchell explained.

Adding, “This research helps women and their obstetricians recognise that fetal sex is one factor that may impact how a woman’s body responds to everyday immune challenges and can lead to further research into how differences in immune function may affect how a women responds to different viruses, infections or chronic health conditions (such as asthma).”


Natural Breast Augmentation safe for young mothers

Natural Breast Augmentation safe for young mothersNatural Breast Augmentation safe for young mothers
Natural Breast Augmentation — a procedure where the breasts’ size is increased by transferring fat — is completely safe for young mothers as lactation and other functions are preserved, doctors said on Saturday.

According to the doctors, women desiring to have breast augmentation should opt for the natural way because there is no use of foreign material.

There is no scar or mark left post-operative as the procedure is performed through keyhole, a minimally invasive process.

“The use of silicone implant to enhance the breast size has become passe. In the age where technological devices are becoming nano sized and surgeries becoming minimally invasive, this latest technique of natural breast implantation has gained immense popularity,” said Lokesh Kumar, Director and head of BLK Centre for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery.

According to medical science, in Natural Breast Augmentation the size and volume of a woman’s breasts is increased using her own body.

The minimally invasive procedure is safe and quick. In a span of a few hours, a woman undergoes from a B to a C cup.

The technique is less stressful on the woman’s body and heals faster.

Additionally, the procedure has the benefit of liposuction where the fat is harvested from areas like abdomen, waist, thighs, back or buttocks.

Kumar said: “This technique is called Beauli and was invented in Germany a few years ago. During the procedure, a very high speed water jet stream is used to separate fat cells from the patient’s body.”

“With the help of a thin metal tube, fat is extracted from areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Once the fat is loose, it can be collected in a container which is ready to be used in any part of the body for enhancement. Like, for breast augmentation, this fatty tissue is injected under and around the breast area,” said Kumar.

Rakesh Ranjan, a general surgeon from Safdarjung hospital, said: “Today the situation is such that many women are put off with the word ‘silicone’ as there has been a lot of negative publicity due to the use of bad quality implants from unethical sources/surgeons”.

“But the safety of this procedure has stood the test of time. It is simple enough to be carried out as a day care procedure,” he said.

Stating that biologically a woman loses volume in her breasts as she ages, Ranjan said: “This surgery is also for women who possess enough fat in the thighs, abdomen, back, buttocks or arms and want them to get removed, which instead can be used for breasts.”

“Post procedure, the improvement in the breasts is visible only over the next few weeks, as the swelling goes down. One can expect to see marked improvement in breast size and volume as long as the bodyweight does not change,” said Ranjan.

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Mother’s depression may affect kid’s brain development

Mother's depression may affect kid's brain development (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Mother’s depression may affect kid’s brain development (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Depressive symptoms in women during and after pregnancy are linked to reduced thickness of the cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for complex thought and behaviour — in preschool-age kids, says a new study.

“Our findings underscore the importance of monitoring and supporting mental health in mothers not just in the post-partum period, but also during pregnancy,” said lead researcher Catherine Lebel of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

The findings, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, suggest that a mother’s mood may affect her child’s brain development at critical stages in life.

Eighteen percent of women experience depression some time during pregnancy, and both peri-natal and post-partum depression have been associated with negative outcomes in children.

But the associations between maternal depression and abnormal brain structure in kids at this age was not known.

For the study, the researchers screened 52 women for depressive symptoms during each trimester of pregnancy and a few months after the child was born.

The women ranged in the presence of symptoms, some with no or few symptoms, and some meeting the screening criteria for depression.

When the children reached about 2.5 to 5 years of age, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure their brain structure.


Children Inherit Intelligence From Mothers, Says Study

Children Inherit Intelligence From Mothers, Says Study

WASHINGTON: Mother’s genes may determine how clever the children will be, whereas the father makes no difference to their intelligence levels, a new research suggests.

Women are more likely to transmit intelligence genes to their children as they are carried on the X chromosome and women have two of these, while men only have one.

Advanced cognitive functions which are inherited from the father may be automatically deactivated, according to the researchers at the University of Washington in the US.

A category of genes known as “conditioned genes” are thought to work only if they come from the mother in some cases and the father in other cases.

Intelligence is believed to be among the conditioned genes that have to come from the mother.

Laboratory studies using genetically modified mice found that those with an extra dose of maternal genes developed bigger heads and brains, but had little bodies.
Those with an extra dose of paternal genes had small brains and larger bodies, ‘The Independent’ reported.

Researchers identified cells that contained only maternal or paternal genes in six different parts of the mouse brains which controlled different cognitive functions, from eating habits to memory.

Cells with paternal genes accumulated in parts of the limbic system, which is involved in functions such as sex, food and aggression.

However, researchers did not find any paternal cells in the cerebral cortex, which is where the most advanced cognitive functions take place, such as reasoning, thought, language and planning.

Research makes it clear that genetics is not the only determinant of intelligence – only 40 to 60 per cent of intelligence is estimated to be hereditary, leaving a similar chunk dependent on the environment.


Breastfeeding May Protect Mothers From Cancer, Heart Disease, Says Study

Breastfeeding May Protect Mothers From Cancer, Heart Disease, Says Study

Breastfeeding May Protect Mothers From Cancer, Heart Disease, Says Study
Breastfeeding could protect babies, their moms from premature death and serious diseases.
WASHINGTON: Breastfeeding may not only be beneficial for babies, but also for their mothers – protecting them from premature death and serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, a new study has claimed.

Breastfeeding as recommended – for a total of one year and exclusively for six months – could protect babies and their moms from premature death and serious diseases, researchers said.

The study underscores the importance of policies that make it possible for women to breastfeed, according to study senior author Alison Stuebe from the University of North Carolina in the US.

Researchers said their findings highlight the importance of providing women with the support they need to breastfeed their babies, beginning at birth.

“Breastfeeding is far more beneficial in preventing disease and reducing costs than previously estimated,” said lead author Melissa Bartick, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in the US.

“The results should compel all hospitals to develop programs aimed at helping new mothers learn to breastfeed their babies,” said Bartick. Researchers modelled two groups for the study. The ‘optimal group’, in which the majority of mothers breastfed as recommended and the ‘suboptimal group’, in which mothers breastfed at current rates in the US, which are less than the recommended guidelines.

Using existing research and government data, they projected the rates and costs of diseases that breastfeeding is known to reduce, along with the rates and costs of early deaths from those diseases.
Children’s diseases included in the evaluation were acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, ear infections, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal infections, lower respiratory tract infections, obesity, necrotising enterocolitis and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For mothers, the study included breast cancer, pre-menopausal ovarian cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks.

The researchers found that suboptimal breastfeeding was associated with more than 3,340 premature deaths in the US each year, costing the country 3 billion dollars in medical costs, 1.3 billion dollars in indirect costs and 14.2 billion dollars in costs related to premature deaths.

The majority of the excess death and medical costs – nearly 80 per cent – were maternal.

“Breastfeeding has long been framed as a child health issue, however it is clearly a women’s health issue as well,” said Eleanor Bimla Schwarz from University of California, Davis, in the US.

“Breastfeeding helps prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease, yet many women have no idea breastfeeding has any of these benefits,” said Ms Schwarz


Mother’s High Vitamin B Levels May Cut Eczema Risk In Babies

Mother's High Vitamin B Levels May Cut Eczema Risk In BabiesInfants whose mothers had a higher level of a particular type of vitamin B during pregnancy may be at a lower risk of developing eczema — inflammation of the skin — researchers have found.

The study, from the University of Southampton in Britain, is the first to link maternal serum levels of nicotinamide — a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3 — and related metabolites to the risk of atopic eczema — the most common form of eczema — in the child.

The results showed that offspring of mothers with higher levels of nicotinamide had a 30 per cent lower chance of developing atopic eczema at 12 months.

There was an even stronger association with higher levels of anthranilic acid, a tryptophan metabolite.

Nicotinamide and related nutrients are important for the body’s immune responses and energy metabolism, the study said.

Levels of nicotinamide are maintained through intake of foods such as fish, meat, chicken, mushrooms, nuts and coffee as well as tryptophan, an amino acid found in most proteins.

Nicotinamide can improve the overall structure, moisture and elasticity of skin and therefore could potentially alter the disease processes associated with eczema, the researchers noted.

Further, the study showed a gradual association between higher maternal nicotinamide and anthranilic acid levels and a lower risk of atopic eczema, suggesting that the development of eczema is not simply prevented by the presence of these nutrients.

“Nicotinamide cream has been used in the treatment of eczema but the link between the mother’s levels of nicotinamide during pregnancy and the offspring’s risk of atopic eczema has not been previously studied. The findings point to potentially modifiable influences on this common and distressing condition,” said lead researcher Sarah El-Heis from the University of Southampton.

For the study, published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy, the team assessed the amount of nicotinamide and related tryptophan metabolites during pregnancy in 497 women who took part in the Southampton Women’s Survey.

The team studied the rates of eczema in their children at ages 6 and 12 months.

The study supports the concept that eczema partly originates as a baby develops in the womb and could reveal ways of reducing the risk of the skin condition, the researchers said.

“More research is needed to investigate this interesting association, but the findings are further evidence of the potential benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet during pregnancy,” added Keith Godfrey, professor at the University of Southampton.