5 Things you inherit from your mum

Susannah Hickling

On Mother’s Day, we celebrate the love and generosity lavished on us by our mums. But sometimes they give us more than we bargained for…

1. Migraines

It’s thought that you’ll have at least double the chance of suffering from the mother of all headaches if your mum suffered from them too.

If you’re affected, try to identify your triggers, such as coffee, red wine or chocolate, and avoid them.

Read more: How to deal with migraines


2. Breast cancer

Most inherited breast cancer is caused by faulty BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, giving women a much higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, and at a younger age. But—and this is important—it can also be passed down from your father’s side of the family.

It’s therefore equally important to seek medical advice at an early stage about your risk if you have a significant family history of these diseases on either side. 

Read more: The new ways to beat breast cancer

3. Wrinkles

It seems that our mothers’ mitochondrial DNA—mitochondria are the energy centres of our cells—influences our own tendency to age.

On the upside, if your mum managed to keep her youthful glow into her later years, the chances are you will too. But your lifestyle—diet, weight and fitness—also plays an important part in how good you look.

Read more: The comprehensive guide to caring for your skin


4. Obesity

More than one study has found an association between overweight mothers and overweight offspring. In one case, the research found a link between mother-daughter obesity and father-son obesity, but no correlation across different genders.

However, nurture as well as nature will determine whether you pile on the pounds or not. Make sure you eat healthily and stay active.

Read more: Why does junk food make us fat?


5. Intelligence

Now, this is something that most of us are happy to inherit from mum.

In fact, in one study of 12,686 young people in Glasgow over eight years, researchers found that the best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the mother. So there’s another reason to say, “Thank you, Mum!”

Read more: 5 Mother’s Day beauty treatment deals