Father's Diet Impacts On Son's Ability To Reproduce

Posted: Feb 16 2017, 7:26am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Father's Diet Impacts on Son's Ability to Reproduce
This study sought to understand if the nutritional history of fathers had an effect on their sons. Credit: Getty Images
  • Father’s Nutritional Status has a Bearing on Son’s Reproductive Capacity

A study in flies showed that the father’s nutritional status has a bearing on the son’s reproductive capacity.

Biological researchers confirmed the thesis that males pass on much more than just their genes to their children. A father’s diet may aid his son in the mating game.

The experiments were carried out in fruit flies. Although it is quite a leap from fruit flies to human beings, the general laws which apply to all species are pretty much a universal phenomenon. Especially fruit flies tend to share several genetic markers with human beings.

The paternal role in the life cycle of the children seems to be important too. This influence begins even before the birth of the children. While males are living on high or low protein diets, later on they graduate to an intermediate diet.

These males had sons who showed large differences in gene behavior. Thus sperm competitiveness showed large gaps. Those dads who had high protein diets passed on the trait of having excellent sperm quality to their sons.

This sperm were moreover likely to win when in rivalry with a competitor’s sperm within the female’s birth canal.

These genes were not found in fathers who had low protein diets. This is the only study of its kind that has come up with information regarding inter-generational causes and effects in regard to diet content.

The effects of a good diet go very far and do not just count in the life of the father. Diet is basic to the bodily foundation and biological constitution of the organism.

Yet especially in humans, epigenetic effects seem to count for even more. Also the changes in the genes were influenced by the environment. Thus the dictum that you cannot change your genes has been proved wrong once and for all.

The research is published in the journal Biology Letters.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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