Our Latest News
We have spent much of our time at the Center working on cancer prevention, and more recently on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Promising new research on each of these topics has been in the news lately, and in each case we are reminded of the critical nature of periconceptional nutrition:
In the first paper (Li et al 2018), prenatal maternal dietary exposure to sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts was most effective in inhibiting mammary tumor development (the mouse model of breast cancer) compared to postnatal early life (pre-puberty) and adult broccoli sprout treatment in two separate mouse models. This is one of many studies implicating in-utero exposure to dietary ingredients as being of great potential importance to later physical and mental development as well as disease susceptibility.
The second paper (Lammert et al 2018), explores the absolutely critical role that the gut (e.g. intestinal) microbiota (the bacteria, viruses, and other creatures which inhabit your insides) play in our development. The authors find that preconception manipulation of the microbiota can transfer susceptibility to autism (in a mouse model) from one animal to another. They further show that this susceptibility is related to maternal immune response.
Therapeutic strategies stemming from both studies, could involve very simple dietary changes.
We are happy to provide pdf files of these papers to anyone who cannot access them and would like to examine them more closely.
Welcome to our Newest Additions!
And Goodbye to a Great Student!
Anita is a 4th-year doctoral candidate in at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who has just gone back to Chicago to be with her family and finish her dissertation. We already miss her! She is studying the association between maternal plasma metabolites and offspring autism (ASD) in the Boston Birth Cohort. She is evaluating the role particular metabolites are playing — as co-risk factors of obesity and diabetes – in the prediction of offspring ASD. Her research will offer insight into the underlying mechanisms linking the maternal metabolic challenges of obesity and/or diabetes to offspring ASD. Anita has been with our Center for over three years working on various projects, including the cell-phone protein assay, flavor masking for Moringa-based foods, and designing a clinical trial for children with ASD.