Fetuses exposed to carrots in utero often respond with a ‘smile’, while fetuses exposed to cabbage are more likely to exhibit a ‘crying face’. This is according to a study in which the mother took a 4D ultrasound of her fetus immediately after ingesting the flavor. The findings have the potential to advance our understanding of the development of human taste and smell, and may also have implications for achieving healthy eating habits.
Humans perceive things through a combination of taste and smell. In the fetus, this is thought to occur by sucking and swallowing the amniotic fluid in the uterus.
“A number of studies have already suggested that babies have a sense of taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on postnatal results, but no one has confirmed these responses prenatally. Our study is the first.” The Fetal and Neonatal Institute at Durham University led the study. Ustoun is also the lead author of this study and led the study.
Researchers believe that what pregnant women eat can influence their babies’ taste preferences, which can influence the development of healthy eating habits.
“We believe that repeated exposure to prenatal tastes can capture postnatal taste preferences,” said Ustun. “This could be important when considering foodstuffs related to healthy eating and the possibility of avoiding the weaning ‘picker’.”
“Seeing the fetus’ reaction to carrot and kale flavors during the ultrasound, it was truly amazing to be able to share these moments with the parents,” she added.
A small amount already reacts
The research team performed ultrasounds on 100 mothers between the ages of 18 and 40 at both the 32nd and 36th weeks of gestation to see how their fetuses’ faces reacted to the tastes of cabbage and carrots.
Mothers were given a capsule containing approximately 400 milligrams of carrot or cabbage powder approximately 20 minutes before each ultrasound. One hour before her ultrasound, she was instructed not to eat or drink any flavored beverages. The mother also did not eat or drink anything containing carrots or cabbage on the day of the ultrasound to avoid affecting the fetus’ response.
When the facial expressions of fetuses in both taste groups were compared to fetuses in a control group not exposed to flavor, it was found that exposure to a small amount of carrot or cabbage flavor was sufficient to elicit the response. I got
Approximately 30 minutes after the mother ingested the capsules, the fetuses exhibited observable facial reactions, and as mentioned above, fetuses whose mothers ingested cabbage showed more crying faces, and fetuses that responded to carrots showed more crying faces. Showed more smiles.
The research team also included scientists from Aston University in the UK and CNRS-Université de Bourgogne in France.
Development of taste and smell
“Previous research in my lab has shown that 4D ultrasound is a way to monitor fetal responses and understand how they respond to maternal health-related behaviors such as smoking and mental health. It’s been suggested, and it’s disturbing,” said co-author Nadja Riceland. Professor Reissland is director of the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab at the University of Durham and oversaw the Beyza Usun study.
“This latest study may have important implications for understanding the earliest clues about the ability of fetuses to perceive and distinguish between different tastes and odors coming from foods eaten by their mothers.
“By looking at the fetal facial reactions, we can speculate that a series of chemical stimuli are transferred from the mother’s diet to the fetal environment,” said co-author Benoist Schaal of the CNRS-Université de Bourgogne.
“This may play a major role in the development of our taste and olfactory receptors and our associated understanding of perception and memory.”
The researchers say their findings could also help educate mothers about the importance of flavor and a healthy diet during pregnancy.
Researchers are now embarking on follow-up studies with the same babies after birth to see if flavors exposed in utero affect their acceptance of different foods.
“It can be argued that repeated prenatal exposure to flavors may lead to a preference for those flavors postnatally. It could mean that you are accustomed to those flavors in your womb. Co-author Professor Jackie Brissett of Aston University said:
“The next step is to investigate whether fetuses show less ‘negative’ reactions to these flavors over time.
A study by the aforementioned researchers and Judith Covey of Durham University found that psychologyThis article is based on a Durham University press release.