A man’s weight affects the information passed
on through his sperm and could leave his
children predisposed to obesity, research in
Denmark suggests.
The sperm cells of lean and obese men possess
different epigenetic marks, maybe changing the
behaviour of genes.
Dr Romain Barres, the author of the study, said:
“When a woman is pregnant she should take care
of herself.
“But if the implication of our study holds true,
then recommendations should be directed
towards men too.”
Part of the research – which was carried out by
the University of Copenhagen and published in
the journal Cell Metabolism – tested the sperm
of six obese men who were undergoing weight-
loss surgery.
Appetite control
It looked at the men’s sperm before treatment, a
week after the surgery and then for a third time a
year later.
Dr Barres said changes to the sperm were
noticeable in the men a week after the surgery,
and also one year on.
He said although the genetic make-up of the
sperm cells was likely to remain the same, he
noticed “epigenetic changes”, which could change
the way a gene expresses itself in the body.
Dr Barres admits a definitive scientific conclusion
for how these epigenetic changes affect the gene
is not yet scientifically known.
However, the sperm cell changes he recorded are
linked to the genes known for appetite control
and brain development.
The five-year study also recorded similar sperm
cell changes when it compared 13 lean men – who
all had a BMI of below 30 – with 10 moderately
obese men.
‘Significant differences’

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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