Updated: Oct 23
Source: Original cartoon by Alex Martin
A new test may transform our understanding ....
A new study* suggests that, at least for certain male patients, the answer to infertility might lie with epigenetics. Now there's a word. So what does it mean?
In essence, epigenetics is the study of how your behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work and the methylation cycle.
The prognostic role of the test is only part of the picture. "The uniqueness of epigenetics is that some of the abnormalities detected have the potential to be modified with lifestyle,"
In this study*: Epigenetics in male reproduction: effect of paternal diet on sperm quality and offspring health, two of the key points are that:
Dietary compounds, especially phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins, can effect changes in epigenetic signatures of somatic as well as germ cells by influencing enzymes and other proteins responsible for epigenetic modifications.
Modifications of the epigenetic landscape by dietary compounds can affect overall health but also the reproductive health of both sexes.
Dietary compounds include herbal supplements and this test may in fact help ascertain or clarify just how these are affecting the quality of, in this instance, sperm.
For decades, semen analysis has been based on motility, morphology, and concentration however, these measures, while useful, are limited.
It has also been known for sometime that lifestyle choices can and do affect sperm quality. It seems this new way of testing shows the difference
The new type of testing detects unstable gene promotors, which are the epigenetic markers for gene expression.
A far more usable insight into sperm quality to assist in making better informed decisions and even assessing progress of changes you have or do make or the efficacy of supplements you may be taking.
Resources: follow the links for the detail.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of these businesses or publications. I am simply sharing information.