We all learned people know that too much of smoking or drinking is injurious to our health as science has long been clear that smoking or heavy alcohol consumption causes cancer. But, a new study has found that babies could inherit genetic damage from a father who puffs or drinks heavily.
A team of international researchers has found that smoking or drinking alcohol can cause chemical changes in the semen in men and the alterations could be potentially inherited by their offspring and their future generations.
The researchers came to the conclusion after they analyzed the effects of smoking and heavy drinking — both toxic in nature — on a group of mice. They gave pregnant female mice daily injections of pesticide vinclozolin during the period when the sex of embryos is determined. Male offspring had abnormalities, including prostate and sperm development problems, and genetic changes that the researchers found were passed on through four generations when the males were mated with healthy females.
The researchers have also identified specific genes involved in the production of sperm that were permanently altered by the exposure to the pesticide. "In addition to the spermatogenic and prostate abnormalities, trans-generational effects on numerous disease states were observed including tumour development and kidney disease”, said
Anway said the doses used, far exceeded the levels that humans could expect to be exposed to, but the study was designed to demonstrate how toxins lead to inheritable abnormalities.
"Studies have shown significant associations between male toxic exposures and increased rates of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth and childhood health problems to open our eyes and look at the evidence" and "when you harm the male reproductive system you can see multi-generational harm transmitted through the male gamete (sperm). This research has human implications as it suggests an avenue of harm and a model of trans-generational effects”, said co-researcher
Before it becomes too late, one thought-provoking question to the men of these bad habits, who are yet father a child - you might justify the privilege of living your own life on your preferred terms, but do you sincerely have the right to snatch away a desired healthy life from your offspring?
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