Link Found Between Paternal Diet and Health of Offspring
A report published online in The FASEB Journal, shows a link between weight, paternal diet, and health at conception and the health of offspring. In a study involving rats, researchers found that if the male rats ate a high fat diet, were obese and had diabetes, their offspring had altered expression in pancreatic and fat tissue. The altered gene expression increased the risk of obesity.
The female rats they were mated with were lean and healthy. Researches found that the female offspring born of obese fathers on a high fat diet, had difficulty in a glucose challenge test, even while eating a healthy diet themselves. There were gene expression changes present in pancreatic islets, which produce insulin to control blood glucose and the fat tissue.
“While scientists have focused on how the maternal diet affects children’s health, this study is part of exciting new research exploring the impact of paternal diet on offspring risk of obesity,” said Margaret Morris, Ph.D., Pharmacology School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. “The fact that similar gene markers were affected in pancreas and fat tissue tells us that some of the same pathways are being influenced, possibly from the earliest stages of life. It will be important to follow up these findings, and to learn more about when and how to intervene to reduce the impact of poor paternal metabolic health on offspring.