Beyond the genetic code
You are what you eat. Or at least, what your grandmother ate.
Before you were even a twinkle in your father’s eye, your genetics had already been determined two generations earlier. And the food your grandmother was eating had a real effect on the genetic coding taking place in her eggs.
This presents an important public health opportunity, says neonatologist and perinatal researcher Adrienne Gordon. Join her as she discusses how studying pre-conception factors such as lifestyle and nutrition could result in a disease-free future.
Fresh out of her medical degree, Adrienne Gordon’s first neonatal placement was in a Glasgow hospital. As she fronted up to the hospital, there were 20 very pregnant women standing at the front of the hospital in the freezing cold, all of them smoking cigarettes. It was the 1990s and poverty was part of the Glasgow landscape.
This experience was central to her future research into how social and economic disadvantage could shape health and wellbeing from early childhood. Fast track to 2018, with a public health degree under her belt, Adrienne is leading the BABY1000 study, which tracks the progress of development for 1000 days – starting with pre-conception, all the way to the early years of life in an effort to understand the factors that contribute to health disorders.