Published On: Tue, May 17th, 2016

Father’s lifestyle can be reason for birth defects


A new research study has warned that new father’s age, use of alcohol and further lifestyle factors can be a reason for birth defects in the kids and also for future generations.


The nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment gave the mother eternally has been in the past said to change the organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her babies. The research team examined the previous research that concentrated on how a man’s lifestyle could be the reason for epigenetic alterations in his sperm’s DNA that could ultimately affect his kid’s genome.

Joanna Kitlinska, who is the associate professor at Georgetown University in the US, stated that “Our study shows that fathers’ lifestyle, and how old he is, can be reflected in molecules that control the gene function,” Kitlinska further stated that “In this way, a father can affect not only his immediate offspring but future generations as well,” The research paper cited in the American Journal of Stem Cells.

The results illustrated that, if the father is alcoholic, a newborn can be diagnosed with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), although the mother has never used alcohol. Alcohol employ in fathers was also connected to low birth weight, indicated decrease in general brain size, and impaired cognitive function.

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As well, the advanced age of a father can lift up the rates of schizophrenia, autism in his kids, the researchers added. Moreover, the diet pattern of a man all through his pre-adolescence can decrease or boost the danger of cardiovascular death in his kids and grandchildren.

Paternal obesity has been connected to increased fat cells, alterations in metabolic regulation, diabetes, obesity and development of brain cancer. Moreover, psychosocial anxiety on the father can be the reason for defective behavioral traits in his children.

Kitlinska further stated that “This new field of inherited paternal epigenetics needs to be organised into clinically applicable recommendations and lifestyle alternations,” Kitlinska continued “to really understand the epigenetic influences of a child, we require to study the interplay between maternal and paternal effects, as opposed to considering each in isolation.”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.