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Nutrition for Men: Beware

Veteran News
Veteran News
October 6, 2017
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We once thought that the sun revolved around the Earth. We were wrong. We once thought that the only thing necessary for a healthy pregnancy was the woman’s overall health and limited exposure to environmental risks. We were wrong again. In new research coming out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a father’s exposure to adverse environmental conditions can affect the genetics of the sperm leading to issues within the pregnancy.In broad strokes, and sparing some of the more in-depth scientific speech, researchers have found that the quality of the pregnancy can hinge in some part on the health and quality of the sperm. The exposure to some of these environmental hazards can disrupt extremely important hormones related to male reproductive health.The DNA of the sperm is changed via a process called methylation, wherein a methyl group is added to the DNA. That’s as much of an explanation here as you’re going to get. If you want more information on how methylation works, click here. The added methyl groups act to turn certain gene expressions on or off. What does this mean?Scientists aren’t exactly sure, but preliminary studies have shown that sperm cells that have been exposed to high environmental hazards have a risk of affecting the embryo as to not be viable during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Again, these findings are preliminary and the risk could be minimal or it could be extrapolated further down the line to include birth defects or complications during the pregnancy as well. No one is really sure quite what all of this means yet, as this is the first study done of its type.The first author of the study, Haotian Wu, stated that “We wanted to pay attention to not only the statistical relationships but also the biology” hoping to get a sense of how the numerical relationships actually affected the life by looking at the regions of the DNA that were methylated. A grant has been awarded to the head researcher Richard Pilsner to further study this effect in mice.To break it down in simple terms: Certain plastics contribute to adding what are known as methyl groups to DNA. Those methyl groups change or signal certain actions within the DNA. So far, the results of highly methylated DNA have given some indication of not producing viable IVF embryos. These findings while preliminary in nature could have significant and life-altering effects further down the line. More research is needed to appropriately understand what is actually happening. Until then men, the best choice is to try and abstain from products containing high levels of phthalates.Read more news articles here.

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