Moms-to-be, eat fruits for intelligent babies

Washington: Now that you are pregnant, you may want to start eating fruits if you want to boost your baby’s brain powers, suggests a new study.

The University of Alberta study found that mothers, who consumed more fruit during pregnancy, gave birth to children who performed better on developmental testing at one year of age.

Senior author Piush Mandhane made the discovery using data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study, a nationwide birth cohort study involving over 3,500 Canadian infants and their families.

Mandhane explained that they found that one of the biggest predictors of cognitive development was how much fruit moms consumed during pregnancy. The more fruit moms had, the higher their child’s cognitive development.

To further build on the research, Mandhane teamed with Francois Bolduc, who researches the genetic basis of cognition in humans and fruit flies. Both researchers believe that combining pre-clinical models and epidemiological analysis is a novel approach that may provide useful new insights into future medical research.

In a subsequent series of experiments, Bolduc showed that flies born after being fed increased prenatal fruit juice had significantly better memory ability, similar to the results shown by Mandhane with one-year-old infants. He believes it suggests that brain function affected by fruit and the mechanisms involved have been maintained through evolution, and conserved across species.

While the findings are encouraging, Mandhane cautions against going overboard on fruit consumption as potential complications such as gestational diabetes and high birthweight, conditions associated with increased intake of natural sugars, have not been fully researched. Instead, he suggests that expectant mothers meet the daily intake recommended in Canada’s Food Guide and consult with their doctors.

The study is published in the journal EbioMedicine. (ANI)