Paternal vitamin B intake can affect child’s body weight!
A mother’s nutritional habits can play a significant role in the health and wellness of her offspring, but new evidence suggests that the paternal diet (vitamin B intake) can affect the offspring’s body weight and overall health.
Vitamin B and Health of Offspring
For the study, recently published in the journal PLoS One, researchers set out to determine whether controlling a father’s vitamin B intake before conception can alter intestinal tumor formation in the baby. They also wanted to identify potential mechanisms when it came to weight differences among offspring by looking at hepatic gene expression and fat content.
Male mice were fed diets containing complete, mildly deficient, or supplemental quantities of vitamins B2, B6, B12. They were also given folate for two months before “mating” with female mice. Offspring were euthanized at weaning and hepatic gene expressions were analyzed to assess tumor burden.
Researchers discovered no differences when it came to intestinal tumor incidence between male offspring and paternal diet groups. In female offspring, there were no alterations in tumor frequency. Researchers did notice an increase in tumor volume when there was more paternal B vitamin intake.
Female offspring of fathers who were fed mildly deficient or supplemental quantities of vitamins had less body weight than female offspring of fathers who were fed diets containing complete quantities of vitamins.
Researchers concluded that, according to this animal model study, paternal vitamin B intake prior to mating can alter the offspring’s weight gain, lipid metabolism and tumor growth in a sex-specific fashion. More research needs to be done, but results indicate the need to better define how a father’s nutrition affects the health of the child.
This study supports research from a previous study published in the journal Nature, which looked at the effect of the paternal diet on female offspring. They discovered that paternal high-fat-diet exposure promotes ‘dysfunction’ in rat female offspring. Chronic high fat diet consumption in male mice prompted increased body weight, impaired insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in female offspring.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Sabet, J.A., “Paternal B Vitamin Intake Is a Determinant of Growth, Hepatic Lipid Metabolism and Intestinal Tumor Volume in Female Apc1638N Mouse Offspring,” PLoS One, 2016 Mar 11;11(3):e0151579. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151579.
Ng, S., “Chronic high-fat diet in fathers programs β-cell dysfunction in female rat offspring,” Nature, 467, 963–966 (21 October 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09491.