File photo: Karin Malmsten/Swedish Radio

You are what your grandmother ate?

4:35 min

What your paternal grandmother ate as a child could have an impact on your health today, according to new research at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm.

Researchers found that what we eat can have an impact on our genes, with any major change in the availability of food visible on the health of granddaughters, Swedish television SVT reports.

The researchers looked at an area of northern Sweden which was at times isolated due to ice on the Baltic Sea and was therefore totally dependent on its own harvests. Girls with major fluctuations in their diet passed on genetic changes to their granddaughters which made them 21 times more likely to die from cardiovascular diseases compared with people with grandmothers who had had a steady supply of food growing up.

However, the genetic changes were only passed on from paternal grandmother to granddaughter. The changes skipped their own children and their grandsons, the researchers found.

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