Pregnancy

Alcohol consumed around time of conception has diabetes risk for offspring

by Barbara Hewitt on July 31, 2015

Babies conceived by women who drink alcohol around the time of conception face dramatically increased risks of type 2 diabetes and obesity in early middle age, new research has found.

Scientists from the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia made the discovery while looking at how certain events, particularly alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy affected the long term health of offspring.

red wineUsing a laboratory rat model, associate professor Karen Moritz and PhD student Emelie Gardebjer discovered that the equivalent of five standard drinks consumed around the time of conception altered the development of the fetus.

“Before the egg implants, before any organs start to develop, alcohol consumption somehow causes changes to the embryo. Anything that affects foetal development can cause long term programming, which means offspring can be born with increased risk and susceptibility to disease later in life,” explained Moritz.

“Monitoring the offspring of the laboratory rat model, we found the risk of becoming obese and developing type 2 diabetes in early middle age dramatically increased. The usual risk factors of these two diseases are attributed to poor diet and lack of exercise, but our research showed exposure to alcohol around conception presents a risk similar to following a high fat diet for a major proportion of life,” she added.

Moritz believes that the study was particularly important as 50% of pregnancies in Australia were unplanned. “Although most women stop drinking once they discover they are pregnant, a significant proportion are consuming alcohol at the time of conception, before they even know,” she said.

Now research will look at the possibility of administering preventative interventions. “One possibility is giving some type of nutrient to the mother, even in later pregnancy, to see if the changes caused by the early alcohol exposure can be prevented, and in turn prevent the possible long term disease outcomes for offspring,” Moritz added.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for Lifestyle change does not prevent gestational diabetes, study finds

Lifestyle change does not prevent gestational diabetes, study finds

July 14, 2015 Pregnancy

A diet and exercise regime for high-risk obese pregnant women is effective in promoting a healthy lifestyle but it does not prevent gestational diabetes, new research has found. According to the study led by King’s College London, programmes promoting healthy behaviour are unlikely to be effective in preventing gestational diabetes in obese women. They suggest […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Scientists warn over lower diabetes threshold for pregnant women in UK

Scientists warn over lower diabetes threshold for pregnant women in UK

June 10, 2015 Pregnancy

A new threshold for diabetes in pregnancy recently introduced in the UK misses thousands of women at risk of serious complications and is less effective than those set by the World Health Organisation, according to scientists. A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust found that the National […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Mothers expecting sons more likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy

Mothers expecting sons more likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy

May 22, 2015 Pregnancy

A four year study of hundreds of thousands of pregnant women has found those expecting boys are more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes, also known as hyperglycaemia often happened close to the date of birth and is a result of less insulin from pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction. Lead author of the study, Dr. Baiju […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Scientists Test Way of Giving Diabetic Pregnant Women Better Glucose Control

Scientists Test Way of Giving Diabetic Pregnant Women Better Glucose Control

April 27, 2015 Diabetes General

Better glucose control in pregnant women with diabetes could help them to give birth to healthier babies, new research has found. A team of scientists from the University of Leeds have shown that using continuous glucose monitoring is the key as up to 50% of babies born to women with diabetes are born too large. […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Early Gestational Diabetes Could Lead to Risked Increase of Autism

Early Gestational Diabetes Could Lead to Risked Increase of Autism

April 17, 2015 Diabetes General

Children whose mothers developed gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy were at increased risk of developing autism later in life, according to new research. Researchers examined the electronic health records of more than 322,000 ethnically diverse children born between 28 and 44 weeks at Kaiser Permanente Southern California medical centres in the United […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Children Exposed to Smoking While in the Womb at Greater Risk of Diabetes

Children Exposed to Smoking While in the Womb at Greater Risk of Diabetes

March 17, 2015 Diabetes General

Children exposed to tobacco smoke from their parents while in the womb are predisposed to developing diabetes as adults, according to a new scientific study. A team from the University of California, Davis, and the Berkeley non-profit Public Health Institute found that women whose mothers smoked while pregnant were two to three times as likely […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Lifestyle Changes Help Those With Gestational Diabetes Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Lifestyle Changes Help Those With Gestational Diabetes Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

February 24, 2015 Diabetes General

Women with a history of gestational diabetes face a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes for years after giving birth, a new study in the United States has found. But intensive lifestyle intervention or a medication regime can have a protective effect for these women and slow the risk of developing the condition. Gestational […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Type 2 diabetes risk could begin in the womb, new research suggests

Type 2 diabetes risk could begin in the womb, new research suggests

December 10, 2014 Pregnancy

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity is affected by exposure in the womb, according to a review of research carried out in the last decade. As a result, the researchers at Lund University in Sweden are calling for updated guidelines that consider how an unborn child is affected during pregnancy. They say […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Healthy lifestyle could cut gestational diabetes numbers in half

Healthy lifestyle could cut gestational diabetes numbers in half

October 2, 2014 Pregnancy

A healthy lifestyle could cut the number of diabetes cases during pregnancy by half, according to a new study. Smoking, a poor diet, inactivity and being overweight increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes by 48%, research in the United States has found. The study of over 14,000 women concludes that around half of all […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Babies born to women with gestational diabetes more likely to develop the condition

Babies born to women with gestational diabetes more likely to develop the condition

August 27, 2014 Diabetes Research Polls

Babies exposed to gestational diabetes in the womb are six times more likely to develop the condition as the number of obese pregnant women rises. It has long been known that babies whose mothers have gestational diabetes may have problems with blood sugar levels early in life, but now a new study quantifies that risk. […]

Read the full article →



The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.