Dads Pass On More Than Genetics in Their Sperm
Eat poorly, and your body will remember—and possibly pass the consequences onto your kids. In the past several years, mounting evidence has shown that sperm can take note of a father’s lifestyle decisions, and transfer this baggage to offspring**.
After sperm are produced in the testes, they embark on a harrowing journey through the winding epididymis—which, in a human male, is about six meters long when unfurled—on their way to storage.
“[The epididymis] is the least studied organ in the body, and it turns out this tube that no one ever thinks about plays a central role in reproduction.”**
Scientists know genes are not the whole package. Over the course of a single lifetime, our genomes stay as they were originally written. However, how, when and why genetic instructions are followed can drastically differ without altering the manual itself—much like fiddling with the volume on a speaker without touching the wiring within.
This phenomenon, called “epigenetics,” helps explain why genetically identical individuals in similar environments, such as twins or laboratory mice, can still look and act in very different ways. And things like diet or stress are capable of cranking our genes’ volume up and down.
Epigentics show the legacy of a dad’s behaviour can even live on in his child if his epigenetic elements enter an embryo. For instance, mice born to fathers that experience stress can inherit the behavioural consequences of traumatic memories. Additionally, mouse dads with less-than-desirable diets can pass a wonky metabolism onto their kids.
"Understanding the role of environmentally-driven epigenetic changes in gametes on the phenotype of the offspring constitutes not only a fascinating biological question on its own but also represents a moral obligation for the health of future generations"**.
So chaps, its is not all about the count!!! It is a conversation I have had with many couples and intending fathers.
Your lifestyle choices in this journey can and do have a significant impact on whether that embryo develops and how that resultant child may.
People can change their lifestyle choices and metamorphasize both mind and body in positive ways during every stage of life,** and these choices empower and travel with you no matter where you are in any stage of life.
So get to it.
The information here has been reproduced from the following sources: