Whenever a child is born with a defect at birth, the mother’s lifestyle always puts in question. But what is the newborn is born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) even though the baby’s mother has never taken any alcohol in her lifestyle. This shows that even a father’s life style is able to affect the lifestyle of a newborn during conception.
A recent study carried out by a growing body of research shows the relationships between birth defects and father's lifestyle, age and other environmental factors. The researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center note that the defects are caused by epidemic alterations that are capable of affecting multiple generations. They further suggested that both parents contribute equally to the health condition of a new born baby. The findings from the study were published in the American Journal of Stem Cells. The senior investigator in the study was Joanna Kitlinska an associate professor in biochemistry, and molecular and cell biology. Kitlinska has a PhD. She says that’s, it’s known that the mother’s nutritional state, hormonal state and psychological habitat is able to later the bays organ structure, cellular response and gene expression. The study shows the same thing is very possible with fathers, lifestyle, age can be easily reflected in the genetic composition of the newborn. The father is not only capable of affecting his present offspring, but also capable of affecting his future offspring.
Take a scenario where a baby has been diagnosed with FASD while the mother has never taken any alcohol. More studies have shown that about 75% of newborns born with FASD have alcoholic fathers; this clearly shows that the pre-conceptual consumption of alcohol by the father is able to affect the child. This report was a review of evidence, human and animal that had been published and was to be updated to link between paternal and heritage epigenetic programming.
The studies reviewed had the following findings:
• High rates of autism, schizophrenia and other birth defects were correlated to the advance age of the father.
• If a father observed a limited diet during his adolescent years, there was reduced risk of his immediate and future generations suffering from cardiovascular death.
• Fathers suffering from obesity had a high degree of fat cells, diabetes, obesity, brain cancer and changes in metabolic regulation being associated with their offspring.
• Preconception stress experienced by fathers could cause defective behavioral traits in children
• Paternal alcohol use leads to decreased newborn birth weight, marked reduction in overall brain size and impaired cognitive function.
• Taking alcohol by fathers was linked to low newborn birth weight, impaired cognitive function and reduction in overall brain size.
Kitlinska advices that the new field of paternal lifestyle affecting the genetic composition of offspring should be used to effectively advise people who plan to have children to change their lifestyle if they want to have healthy children. More studies need to be done to study the interplay that exists between maternal and paternal effects in epigenetic influences of a baby.