23 August 2011
I watched an absolutely fascinating programme psychotic regarding the graduateÂ Â Â Â click on television last evening (Horizon BBC Two The nine months that made you) where the results of 20 years research showed that the lighter the baby at birth the more likelihood there was of that person contracting diseases such as diabetes, cancer or become a drug addict or alcoholic etc in later life. As part of the research they have also proved that the mental condition of the mother could have a permanent effect on the character of the child. If the mother was stressed out in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy then that could have a permanent effect on the behaviour of that baby as it grew up. (Having read this far you might decide this is not for you in which case I should skip it. In my case I found it fascinating and therefore thought it worth recording but I quite understand if others do not share my enthusiasm.)
Of course I can hear all those sceptics saying that this is just another way of explaining a person’s bad behaviour. In other words trying to say that no one was response for the way they behaved, but was something to do with the genes. However, the programm set out to prove that whatever happened to you in the womb could influence whether or not you lead a healthy and happy life
Â Conventional wisdom had it that nurture not nature had the strongest influence on the way you grow up. Good food and a loving environment. In order to prove his theory Prof Barker realised that he would have to show that it applied anywhere in the world and chose to illustrate this through life in an Indian village. Here the villagers led a very healthy life eating all the right food, exercising etc but nevertheless contracted the usual serious illnesses. He found that there was a disproportionate number of people with diabetes and heart disease. These symptoms,. in the Western world, are normally associated with obesity and yet none of these Indians could possibly have been called obese
A group of scientists decided to test’ The Barker Theory”that the seeds of these diseases were already planted in underweight babies and they chose to test out this theory in India where there is a preponderance of small babies. They took measurements and blood samples when the child was born, and again at two, eight and so on up to 21 years old. In all instances they showed that that child was more insulin resistant than their peer group who were heavier at birth. and as a result these underweight babies suffered a much higher incidence of type II diabetes
It was a short step from here for the researchers to try to show that what happened to the mother, particularly in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, would have a lasting effect on that child’s life and well-being.-The Theory of,Karma. The proposition they set out to prove was that a low weight baby at birth was not only likely to be more prone to disease but also their personality could be affected. They needed to show how a baby in the womb would react to stressful incidents experienced by the mother. and how well they recovered from them. Human characteristics or personality are manifested by the way we react to stressful situations and the way we recover from them. They were able to show that a foetus could be startled in the womb by external noises that the mother was specifically prevented from hearing. They were able to conclude therefore that the way an individual turned out was to a large extent predetermined before birth. This then would be manna from heaven for those’ do-gooders’ who would say that none of us are responsible for our actions, it is just the way we are made.
A unique opportunity came about in 1944 when the Germans left Holland taking with them every scrap of food they could find this resulted in a five-month period of virtual famine when the average child and adult received around 400 cal a day from the scraps that they could get hold of compared with 2000 /2500 cal which will be the normal amount required. The scientists looked at the medical records 2400 persons in Amsterdam who had been subjected to this five-month famine period They discovered that these were more prone to heart disease; high cholesterol; diabetes heart disease and cancer than those children who were conceived after the famine period.
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy all the major organs are laid down, the brain; the heart; the liver; etc. In those children affected by the famine various genes were switched off due to the malnutrition and these altered genes were shown to passed down from generation to generation. They tested the amount of BMI ( body fat index) on low weight birth babies and discovered that it was the same as their heavier counterparts. In fact many of these same people were measured up to 21 years and throughout their body fat was consistently similar to someone with a normal physique but what was more surprising was that they discovered that the actual body fat on the thinner person was twice that of a normal healthy person. They showed that it was not the quantity of food that the mother ate that affected the baby in the womb so much as the right food containing the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
They concluded that if you were to have a happy and healthy old age then the time in the womb had also to be happy and healthy. All of this lead to the intriguing possibility that it might be possible to manipulate a person’s personality and characteristics whilst they were still in the womb. In a different but related area of research scientists looked at the levels of testosterone both in the womb and in the adult mother and they concluded that the more testosterone there was the more likely the child would develop male symptoms even if they were female. Because the amount of testosterone could affect our brain the scientists concluded that it could also affect a person’s whole personality.
They then examined medical records from birth from children born in various parts of the world. The one thing they all have in common was water. Whilst in the womb they were floating in ambiotic fluid. It is commonly accepted that all forms of life originated in the sea and that all babies in the womb start life in a salty fluid not unlike seawater. Everything that passes from the mother to the baby in the womb goes through the. placenta
The researchers looked,, for example, at the mother who smoked and were able to see that this hardened off parts of the placenta preventing valuable nutrients getting to the baby .
So everything that the mother does that affects the placenta effects the child’s future well-being. This led to a fascinating exploration of what happened to the placenta during Ramadan. A month of fasting during the day and perhaps gorging during the evening If Ramadan occurred early in the pregnancy clear changes can be seen in the placenta and thus the amount of vitamin and minerals reaching the baby..
This research that concentrates on the life of a baby in the womb could effect the health and well-being of future generations. The process of improving the nutrients in the womb did not just affect the number of people contracting diabetes, and diseases of the brain in future life but also a number of other diseases. By improving the health of the baby in the womb the life of that person will be extended but more importantly the healthy life will be extended. It will enable us to take charge of our destinies and our long-term health.
I know that I had not done justice to the years of research that have gone into making this programme but I find it fascinating to think that our lives can be so greatly influenced by events which occurred, possibly in the first 12 weeks in the womb.
Today is Tuesday and I am meant to go to the golf club, however, the weather forecast shows thundery rain throughout the region until mid-afternoon so I cancelled Ollie’s Wheelchair Friendly Taxi Service and spent the morning summarising last night’s programme
Having got no further with my Dragon problems I’ booked a ‘remote assist’ session with Dave of Microlink. Dave was very help for and kicked or un-ticked several boxes which should solve some of my problems but I’m still left with some things that only the Dragon people can resolve.