• No_Ads
Life Style
You are what daddy ate — studyPublish Date: Dec 18, 2013
You are what daddy ate — study
  • mail
  • img
newvision

A father’s diet influences the health of his offspring, according to a study published  that suggests men, like women, should plan to eat and live healthily in the run-up to conception. 

Researchers, led by Sarah Kimmins at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at what happened when male lab mice had a diet that was poor in vitamin B9. 

B9, also called folate, is present in green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruit and meat. 

Women often take folic acid supplements, before and during pregnancy, to reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects in their offspring. 

But Kimmins’ team were startled to find that male mice that had a B9-deficient diet fathered mice with a higher rate of birth defects, compared to counterparts which had eaten sufficient folate. 

“We were very surprised to see that there was an almost 30% increase in birth defects in the litters sired by fathers whose levels of folates were insufficient,” said one member of the team, Romain Lambrot. 

“We saw some pretty severe skeletal abnormalities that included both cranio-facial and spinal deformities.” 

The problem, according to the investigators, lies in the sperm’s epigenome, or the “switches” that turn genes — the protein making codes for life — on and off. 

This switchgear, influenced by diet or other life experiences, deregulates key genes during the embryo’s development, according to their theory. 

If the findings in rodents also turn out to hold true for humans, there are important implications for men’s diet, said Kimmins. 

“Despite the fact that folic acid is now added to a variety of foods, fathers who are eating high-fat, fast-food diets or who are obese may not be able to use or metabolise folate in the same way as those with adequate levels of the vitamin,” she said. 

“Our research suggests that fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, what they smoke and what they drink and remember they are caretakers of generations to come.” 

The study appears in the journal Nature Communications.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
If Jesus were living today?
What do you think he would be doing? Would he be a TV preacher wearing bling and speaking with a slurred American accent?...
Maternal deaths: Shortage  of midwives derailing fight
People at Kabale University are still reeling from the death of their lecturer. The health workers at Kabale Hospital live in regret, wishing they could have done more....
Poverty forces refugees into prostitution
Lack of basic necessities is one of the factors that have forced some refugees into the prostitution....
Wakiso girls have never heard of family planning
Nakalya village, Nakungube parish Masulita sub-county in Wakiso district, the rate of teenage mothers is high....
More US moms stay home to look after children
More mothers in the United States are staying home, but the increase is linked more to unemployment and demographic changes than to choice, a study published Tuesday suggested....
Vector-borne diseases: The plague affecting Ugandans
As Uganda joins the rest of the World to mark World Health Day, vector control remains a serious challenge...
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter