A father’s diet ‘plays key role in children’s heath’ before they’re even born

A father’s diet ‘plays key role in children’s heath’ before they’re even born

A father’s diet plays a key role in their children’s health even before they’ve been conceived, according to a new study.

Researchers have found that what a dad eats may develop anxiety in his sons and the metabolic health of his daughters. A study on mice showed that the nutrient balance in the diet of males can affect the level of anxious behaviour of their sons as well as the metabolism of their daughters.

Experts have said that this discovery – published in the journal Nature Communications – has provided a major step in development towards knowing how the effect of your diet can transmit from one generation the next via a father’s sperm.

The scientists believe this could ultimately lead to dietary guidelines for dads-to-be – with the sole aim of lowering the risk of mood disorders and metabolic disease in the younger generation.

Researchers have already discovered that the diet of a mouse father can have an impact on his own reproductive health as well as that of his offspring. Over or under-feeding male mice can affect their children’s behaviour and metabolism – as well as their risk of cancer.

But it was not clearly understood if the make-up of a male mouse’s diet before conception had an impact on the well-being of their children.

An international team of researchers fed male mice one of 10 diets differing in the proportions of protein, fats, and carbohydrates at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre in Australia.


The study was performed on mice -Credit:Getty

The mice were allowed to mate with females reared on a standard diet, then researchers studied the behaviour and physiology of the resulting pups.

They discovered that male mice fed low protein and high carb diets were more likely to have male offspring with higher levels of anxiety, as measured by time spent in the safety zones of their maze.

The team also found that male mice that were fed high fat diets were more likely to have daughters with higher levels of body fat and markers of metabolic disease.

Study co-senior author Professor Romain Barrès, of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, said: “Our study shows that the type of diet eaten before conception can programme specific characteristics of the next generation.”

Co-senior author Professor Stephen Simpson, of the University of Sydney, said: “It is extraordinary that by titrating mixtures of protein, fat and carbs in the father’s diet we could influence specific features of his sons and daughters health and behaviour.

“There is some important biology at play here.”

The researchers also observed that males on a low protein diet also ate more food overall.

But they were able to determine that both the amount of calories, and the macronutrient composition of the males’ diets, influenced the health of their offspring.

Professor Barrès said: “Our study shows that it’s not just eating too much or too little, but the composition of the diet that can have an impact on future children.”

He added: “We think our study is a step towards establishing dietary guidelines for fathers to be, with the ultimate goal of lowering the risk of metabolic disease and mood disorders in the next generation.”

Source: bing.com

Kerri Waldron

My name is Kerri Waldron and I am an avid healthy lifestyle participant who lives by proper nutrition and keeping active. One of the things I love best is to get to where I am going by walking every chance I get. If you want to feel great with renewed energy, you have to practice good nutrition and stay active.