A study of the effects of poverty on DNA has shown that childhood in bad economic conditions has lifelong consequences for the epigenetic processes of certain genes.
It is not uncommon to see a child who has grown up in economically difficult circumstances and succeeds as an adult. However, poverty during growth can leave a legacy on the DNA of the child, which will continue until the end of life.
Researchers from Canada and the United States conducted a genomic study of 500 participants in the Longitudinal Study on Diet and Health in Cebu, Philippines. They emphasized the link between the socioeconomic status of an individual and his or her influence on changing the epigenetic activity of his genes, a chemical process on DNA that increases or inhibits the activity of his genes. Expression of the gene by methylation, which is the addition of the methyl group to the gene.
The number of epigenetics studies has grown steadily in recent years, as it allows us to observe the environmental impact of DNA. Effects are sometimes insignificant, for example, they may affect cognitive development and be responsible for mental disorders such as autism.
Theories argue that epigenetic modifications can be transferred to earlier generations. They must be seriously understood as genetic mutations.
Researchers were aware that socio-economic status was an important factor in the health status over time, but the mechanisms of impacts of poverty have so far not been known.
By integrating genetic probes into blood samples from participants to their 21th among those who grew up in poverty, have identified more than 2500 metrolase sites affecting 1537 genes (about 8% of human genes), while those born and raised in good socioeconomic conditions that later became poor have not shown significant difference.
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It is well known that some of the causes of childhood health deterioration, such as diet, access to medical care, and education, increase the risk of getting sick and develop mental problems. But other physiological changes that have been associated with poverty in the past, such as chronic inflammation or insulin resistance, remain unexplained.
The purpose of this study was to identify the possible correlation between methylated genes and their effects on health, but many sites were previously identified on the development of the immune and nervous system.
Research is ongoing in this area to better understand the impact of child poverty on the rest of life.
" These are the areas that we will focus on to determine if DNA metathion is really an important mechanism by which a socio-economic status can leave a lingering molecular imprint in the body, with consequences for health later on in life. life Says Northwestern Physical Anthropologist Thomas McDade.
Source: Physical Anthropology