Is fathers' drinking also responsible for foetal disorders?

February 14, 2014, Taylor & Francis

Maternal exposure to alcohol in-utero is a known risk and cause of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS children suffer significant problems such as retarded intellect, stunted growth and nervous system abnormalities, social problems and isolation. Until now Fathers have not had a causal link to such disabilities. Ground breaking new research has been revealed which shows Dads may have more accountability.

Published in Animal Cells and Systems, researchers studied male mice exposed to varying concentrations of alcohol and one control group exposed only to saline. After exposure the mice were mated and resulting foetuses examined. The findings revealed previously unknown and riveting evidence that paternal can directly affect foetal development.

A number of foetuses sired by males exposed to alcohol suffered abnormal organ development and or brain development. Those in the saline group were normal. So, can developmental abnormalities be predetermined at fertilisation? This research proves so. The authors believe consumption affects genes in sperm which are responsible for normal foetal development.

Until now fathers' lifestyle choices have not seen any repercussion on their unborn children. This ground-breaking research provides the first definitive evidence that fathers' drinking habits pre-conception can cause significant foetal abnormalities.

Explore further: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may damage semen quality in sons

More information: "Transgenerational effects of paternal alcohol exposure in mouse offspring." Hye Jeong Lee et al. Animal Cells and Systems, Volume 17, Issue 6, 2013. DOI: 10.1080/19768354.2013.865675

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