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A Critical Evaluation of the Fetal Origins Hypothesis and Its Implications for Developing Countries

Citation

Adair, Linda S. & Prentice, Andrew M. (2004). A Critical Evaluation of the Fetal Origins Hypothesis and Its Implications for Developing Countries. Journal of Nutrition, 134(1), 191-193.

Abstract

Professor David Barker and his colleagues at the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit in Southampton, U.K. have developed the theory that several of the chronic diseases associated with aging may be programmed in very early life (1). Their ideas were initially described as the fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis and, in spite of the existence of a significant body of earlier animal data pointing to the existence of early life programming, were met with much skepticism (2). This skepticism persists with regard to many of the details of the associations and the causal pathways (3,4), but few would doubt the basic conclusion that an organism's nutritional experience during critical periods of ontogeny can have permanent effects on how it later responds to its environment. In short, the backbone of the theory has graduated from hypothesis to accepted biology even though the details remain controversial.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/134.1.191

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2004

Journal Title

Journal of Nutrition

Author(s)

Adair, Linda S.
Prentice, Andrew M.