Science

Fetuses apparently love carrots, but kale? Not so much, showing echoes

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Fetus is apparently seen smiling after mother eats carrots. FM6 is described by researchers as “cheek lifter” and FM12 as “lip-corner puller”

Researchers at Durham University in the North East of England


Fetuses are big fans of carrots, but not green leafy vegetables — and show it on their faces, scientists said in a new study published Thursday.

Researchers from Durham University in the north east of England said the findings were the first direct evidence that babies react differently to different smells and tastes before they are born.

A team of scientists studied 4D ultrasounds of 100 pregnant women and found that babies exposed to carrot flavors showed “smiling” responses.

In contrast, those exposed to kale flavors exhibited more “horrifying” reactions.

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Fetus whose mother had just eaten kale is apparently seen frowning. FM11 is described as “nasolabial groove” and FM12 as “lower lip depressor”.

Researchers at Durham University in the North East of England


Lead researcher Beyza Ustun said: “A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on outcomes after birth, while our study is the first to see these reactions before birth.

“As a result, we think this repeated exposure to pre-birth flavors could help establish food preferences after birth, which could be important when thinking about messages about healthy eating and the potential to reduce ‘food stress’ at weaning.” to avoid.”

People experience taste through a combination of taste and smell.

In fetuses, it is thought that this can occur through the inhalation and ingestion of amniotic fluid into the uterus.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, involved scientists from Durham’s Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab and Aston University in Birmingham, central England.

A team from the National Center for Scientific Research in Burgundy, France, was also involved.

The teams believe the findings could deepen understanding of the development of human taste and smell receptors, as well as perception and memory.

Study co-author Professor Jackie Blissett, of Aston University, said: “It could be argued that repeated prenatal exposure to taste can lead to preferences for those tastes experienced postnatally.

“In other words, exposing the fetus to less ‘loved’ flavors, such as kale, can mean they get used to those flavors in the womb.

“The next step is to investigate whether fetuses show fewer ‘negative’ responses to these flavors over time, resulting in greater acceptance of those flavors when babies first taste them outside the womb.”

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