Birth Defects? Daddy Might Be Responsible


We all know that the health status of a child depends on that of both parents, but a new ongoing research is revealing something even more. Birth defects can be linked to a child father's lifestyle, age and environmental factors.

The researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center. say that these defects results from epigentic (gene alteration) alterations that can potentially affect multiple generations and not just the baby alone.

The study suggests that both parents contribute to the health status of their offspring, an already known fact is that nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother alters the gene expression, cellular response and organ structure of her child.

But the research shows that Daddy is also involved, his lifestyle, and age can also affect the offspring's gene expression says the study's senior investigator, Joanna Kitlinska, PhD, an associate professor in biochemistry, and molecular and cellular biology.

For example, a newborn can be diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), even though the mother has never consumed alcohol, Kitlinska says. "Up to 75 percent of children with this disorder have biological fathers who are alcoholics, suggesting that preconceptual paternal alcohol consumption negatively impacts their offspring."

This is an evidence that cements the fact that there is a link between the father's lifestyle and the offspring
Among the studies reviewed are ones that find:
  • A limited diet during a father's pre-adolescence has been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular death in his children and grandchildren;
  • Paternal (that is the father) obesity is linked to enlarged fat cells, changes in metabolic regulation, diabetes, obesity and development of brain cancer;(of his offspring)
  • Paternal alcohol use leads to decreased newborn birth weight, marked reduction in overall brain size and impaired cognitive function. 
  • Advanced age of a father is correlated with elevated rates of schizophrenia, autism, and birth defects in his children;
  • Psychosocial stress on the father is linked to defective behavioral traits in his offspring; 

"This new field of inherited paternal epigenetics needs to be organized into clinically applicable recommendations and lifestyle alternations," Kitlinska says.

So gentlemen, if you want to have good looking children just like those of President Barack Obama... You better start taken your health status into consideration... 

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