The way that a fetus obtains and allocates nutritional resources has profound consequences for its life-long health. Under the new developmental model for the origins of chronic disease, the causes to be identified are linked to normal variations in the processes of feto-placental development, that are associated with differences in the supply of nutrients to the baby. These differences programme the function of a few key systems that are linked to chronic disease, including the immune system, anti-oxidant defences, inflammation, and the number and quality of stem cells. There is not a separate cause for each different disease. Which chronic disease originates during development may depend more on timing than on qualitative differences in experience.
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