It is world-wide known that there are a lot of studies about the genetic role mothers have on their children at the time of conception and during the pregnancy. According to a new survey from Georgetown University Medical Center, the genetic role of the father is now analyzed.
It was recently discovered that children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors had inherited a type of gene that made them vulnerable to stress disorders, and it was established that fathers play a significant role in this process too.
It has been a lot of skepticism regarding the idea of epigenetics, and it finally seems like there are at least four ways a man’s health affects the DNA of the newborn.
First is diet. Extremes must be avoided, such as obesity and starving. According to a study from 2006, it was found in a Sweedish community that if the father or grandfather had not had enough food when he was young, the child was vulnerable to diabetes and cardiovascular problems, more specifically the boys.
On the other hand, if the dad was obese or had unhealthy diets, their children had high levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which usually lead to metabolic problems.
The next step is to avoid smoking. This bad habit is not only unhealthy for the consumer, but also for the offspring. According to the Georgetown scientists, the more a father smokes, the more likely the sperm will have damaged DNA, meaning that their future sons might become overweight.
The third thing to avoid is alcohol. The research discovered that 75 percent of the children who were born with fetal alcohol syndrome, neurological difficulties, low birth weight and other genetic disorders, had fathers that were addicted to alcohol.
The researchers do not know the connection between the alcoholic fathers and the children DNA yet, but they assumed that the alcoholism may affect the hypomethylation process of genes. Therefore, the baby’s individual organs weights and brain size might be unusual, as well as a high probability that the baby will have holes in the heart, and these are just a few examples.
Plus, children with alcoholic dads showed hyperactivity, poor ability to deal with stress and learning difficulties. Hopefully, future dads will now be more aware of their health as their future sons and daughters depend on their genetic role.