Women urged to give up alcohol before conceiving

November 14, 2017, University of Queensland
Women urged to give up alcohol before conceiving
Women who consume alcohol around the time of conception could be putting their sons at greater risk of obesity in later life. Credit: University of Queensland

Women who consume alcohol around the time of conception could be putting their male offspring at greater risk of obesity in later life.

Researchers from The University of Queensland's Child Health Research Centre investigated how affected the just-fertilised egg, in one of the first studies to look at alcohol in preconception rather than during pregnancy.

Centre director Professor Karen Moritz said PhD student Emily Dorey's research using animal models found that exposure to alcohol around made male offspring more likely to seek a more often as they aged.

"We found that exposure to alcohol resulted in male offspring having a sustained preference for high-fat food, which indicated the reward pathway in the brain was altered by alcohol exposure around conception," she said.

"Surprisingly we found alcohol exposure at this time had no effect on alcohol preference in offspring of either sex later in life."

Professor Moritz said rats involved in the study consumed the equivalent of four standard drinks each day from four days before mating to four days after mating.

In a related study, Centre researchers found exposed to alcohol at conception had five per cent more body fat than those whose mothers had not consumed alcohol.

It found males exposed to alcohol were also more likely to have higher abdominal fat mass, which could lead to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Professor Moritz said the study also found both male and female offspring were more likely to suffer from fatty liver when exposed to at conception.

"Our results highlight that , even prior to a fertilised egg implanting in the uterus, can have lifelong consequences for the metabolic health of offspring," she said.

The research is published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and the American Journal of Physiology.

Explore further: There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, new study shows

More information: The effects of periconceptional maternal alcohol intake and a postnatal high-fat diet on obesity and liver disease in male and female rat offspring. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00251.2017

Related Stories

There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, new study shows

October 24, 2017
Any amount of alcohol exposure during pregnancy can cause extreme lasting effects on a child, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Drinking at conception boosts diabetes risk for baby

July 30, 2015
Babies conceived by women who drink alcohol around the time of conception face dramatically increased risks of type 2 diabetes and obesity in early middle age, a University of Queensland study has found.

It's not just mums who need to avoid alcohol when trying for a baby

November 7, 2017
Abstaining from alcohol during preconception and pregnancy is usually considered to be the woman's responsibility. The main concern surrounding alcohol exposure during pregnancy often relates to well-established evidence ...

Alcohol abuse even before pregnancy may harm offspring

April 2, 2017
Mothers who binge drink before they become pregnant may be more likely to have children with high blood sugar and other changes in glucose function that increase their risk of developing diabetes as adults, according to a ...

Alcohol exposure during pregnancy affects multiple generations

February 23, 2016
When a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy, even a small dose, she can increase the chances that the next three generations may develop alcoholism, according to a new study from Binghamton University.

Alcohol exposure before birth may later amplify neurological problems from stroke

February 17, 2016
Exposure to alcohol before birth might impair kidney blood flow in adulthood and heighten neurological problems caused by a stroke, according to an animal study presented at the American Stroke Association's International ...

Recommended for you

Poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection

August 14, 2018
Poor sleep can literally kill your social life. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact in ...

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could enhance the negative effects of binge drinking

August 14, 2018
A key ingredient of energy drinks could be exacerbating some of the negative effects of binge drinking according to a new study.

E-cigarette vapor disables key immune cells in the lung and boosts inflammation

August 14, 2018
E-cigarette vapour boosts the production of inflammatory chemicals and disables key protective cells in the lung that keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles, reveals a small experimental study, published ...

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

August 10, 2018
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income ...

Insurance status tied to higher self-perceived poor/fair health

August 9, 2018
(HealthDay)—Underinsured and never insured adults are more likely than adequately insured adults to report poor/fair health and frequent mental distress (FMD), according to a study published online July 19 in the U.S. Centers ...

Giving kids plates with segments and pictures caused them to eat more vegetables

August 8, 2018
A pair of researchers at the University of Colorado has found that preschool kids ate more vegetables when presented with segmented plates with pictures of fruits and vegetables on them. In their paper published in JAMA Pediatrics, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.