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New clue why mums-to-be suffer bloating

Uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy may be explained by evolution, finds new research

Posted: 5 January 2011
by Kimberley Smith
mums-to-be suffer bloating
Bloating could be your body's evolution plan!

Fruit flies may help explain why pregnant women suffer digestive discomfort (of all things!), such as bloating and constipation. Researchers believe that the hormone involved in fruit fly reproduction has the same effect as human pregnancy hormones.

“Humans and fruit flies reproduce in very different ways, yet the associated symptoms of constipation and bloating and their cause – a reproductive hormone – are the same,” said Irene Miguel-Aliaga, who led the research.

The research suggests that the pregnancy hormones change the way your intestines absorb nutrients. Irene believes that this is due to evolution.

In the past when mums-to-be often didn’t have highly nutritious food, the body attempted to absorb every scrap of goodness during pregnancy. Today, with our high calorie diets, the body is still attempting to do this, which can lead to discomfort and bloating.

“This suggests that this mechanism has been conserved through evolution,” Irene explained. “These intestinal changes may provide a benefit at a time of high nutritional demand by maximising nutrient absorption.”

More research is needed but if you’re feeling uncomfortable, at least you know your body’s just making sure your baby’s well fed! Get some tips on easing bloating and constipation.

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