October 6, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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The first direct evidence that fetuses respond to taste and smell: they laugh at carrots and fiddle with cabbage

The first direct evidence that fetuses respond to taste and smell: they laugh at carrots and fiddle with cabbage

“Previous research in my lab has suggested that 4D ultrasound is a way to monitor fetal responses, to understand how it responds to behaviors related to maternal health, such as smoking, and maternal mental health, including stress, depression and anxiety,” said co-author Nadia Resland. She is the Head of the Fetal and Newborn Research Laboratory at Durham University and has supervised the research of Besa Osun.

“This latest study could have important implications for our knowledge of early evidence of fetuses’ ability to perceive and distinguish different tastes and smells that come from the foods their mothers ate,” Resland said.

“Looking at the reactions on the fetuses’ faces, we can assume that a series of chemical stimuli pass through the mother’s diet to the fetus’s environment,” said Benoist Schall, study co-author from CNRS-Université de Bourgogne.

“This could play a key role in our understanding of the development of our taste and olfactory receptors, and associated cognition and memory.”

The researchers say their findings could also help educate mothers about the importance of flavors and a healthy diet during pregnancy.

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