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LDL Cholesterol -- from Parent to Child

Increased levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein a.k.a “bad cholesterol”) can block blood vessels and as a result cause a heart attack or stroke. That’s why it’s important to know what causes increased levels of LDL cholesterol in our bodily systems. Recent research has shown that people can be put at a risk even as a embryos in their mothers’ wombs.

These studies observe the relation between a mother’s condition during pregnancy and her offspring’s levels of LDL cholesterol. The research had been conducted among children ages 6-13 (whose mothers pregnancy has been observed, reporting their LDL levels). No difference in birthweight or any other clinical/biochemical cardiovascular disease risk factors between the children were found. Interestingly enough, LDL levels were higher in children whose mothers had high LDL levels during pregnancy. Another study shows that exposure to different concentrations of fatty acids during the fetal stages may affect growth and metabolism in children. A large study, covering nearly 6 thousand pregnant women and later – their children – has shown interesting results. Scientist concludes that fatty acids in mother’s blood plasma later relate to measures of body mass index, fat mass index and HDL (high-density protein, also known as “good cholesterol”). The higher the score of polyunsaturated fatty acids (good and essential for the human body fatty acids) was measured through the pregnancy, the higher levels of HDL and lower levels of the fat mass index were shown later in children measures. These two types of research show that prevention of cardiovascular disease and obesity begins in the womb and is strongly connected with mother’s health.


Sources: Clinical Nutrition journal, 2017. Authors: Trudy Voortmana, Myrte J. Tielemansa, Wendy Stroobanta, Josje D. Schoufoura, Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jonga, Jolien Steenweg-de Graaffa, Edith H. van den Hoovena, Henning Tiemeiera, Vincent W.V. Jaddoea, Oscar H. Francoa Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Dec 2016. Authors: Jacob J. Christensen, MSca, Kjetil Retterstøl, MD, PhD, Kristin Godang, BScc, Marie Cecilie Paasche Roland, MD, PhDd, Elisabeth Qvigstad, MD, PhDc, Jens Bollerslev, MD, PhDc