Traditionally, it was believed that it was the health of the mother before conception that determines the course of pregnancy and the health of the unborn child. But the results of the latest study refute such information. It turns out that the health of the future father is no less important than the health of the mother. And it is especially important how much greens and vegetables he consumes in food. In fact, scientists have confirmed that vegan fathers have healthier children.
The study, conducted at Canada’s McGill University, examined in detail the effect of the water-soluble vitamin B-9 (folic acid) consumed by the father of a child on factors such as fetal development and the likelihood of birth defects, as well as the risk of miscarriage.
It was previously believed that these problems were directly affected, first of all, by the amount of green leafy vegetables, cereals and fruits consumed by the mother – before and during pregnancy. However, the data obtained make it clear that the amount of plant food and even a healthy or not very father’s lifestyle also determines the course of the mother’s pregnancy and the health of the baby!
Sarah Kimmins, leader of the medical team who conducted the study, said: “Despite the fact that folic acid is now added to many foods, if the father consumed mainly high-calorie foods, fast foods, or was obese, he most likely would not was able to absorb this vitamin in sufficient (to conceive a healthy child – Vegetarian) amount.
She expressed her concern that “People who live in northern Canada and other regions where nutrition is not nutritious are at risk for folic acid deficiency. And we know that this information will be genetically passed from father to son, and the consequences of this will be very serious.”
The experiment was conducted by Canadian scientists on two groups of mice (their immune system is almost identical to the human). At the same time, one group was supplied with food containing a sufficient amount of green vegetables and cereals, and the other with food poor in folic acid. The statistics of fetal defects showed a significantly greater risk to the health and life of the offspring in individuals who received less vitamin B6.
Dr. Lamain Lambrot, one of the scientists working on the project, said: “We were amazed to find that the difference in the number of fetal defects was about 30 percent. Fathers who were deficient in folic acid produced markedly less healthy offspring.” He also reported that the nature of the fetal defects in the B6 deficient group was severe: “We observed quite severe anomalies in the structure of the skeleton and bones, including the face and spine.”
Scientists were able to answer the question of how data on the father’s diet affect the formation of the fetus and the immunity of the unborn child. It turned out that some parts of the sperm epigenome are sensitive to information about the father’s lifestyle, and especially when it comes to nutrition. This data is put into the so-called “epigenomic map”, which determines the health of the fetus in the long term. The epigenome, which is also influenced by the state of the ecology of the father’s place of residence, determines the tendency to many diseases, including cancer and diabetes.
The scientists found that although (as was previously known) the healthy state of the epigenome can be restored over time, nevertheless, there is a long-term effect of the lifestyle and nutrition of the father on the formation, growth and overall health of the fetus.
Sarah Kimmins summed up the study: “Our experience has shown that future fathers should be careful about what they eat, what they smoke, and what they drink. You are responsible for the genetics of an entire genus for many generations to come.”
The next step that the team that completed this study wants to take is to work closely with a fertility clinic. Dr. Kimmins suggested that, with luck, it would be possible to derive additional practical benefit from the information received that the father’s overweight and insufficient intake of vegetables and other foods containing B6 adversely affect the fetus and may pose a risk to the health and life of the future. child.