Fathers with bad diets more likely to pass diabetes to their daughters

Thu, 21 Oct 2010
Overweight diabetic dads with high fat diets are more likely to pass the condition on to their daughters, new research has claimed. The study revealed that parents who have a fatty diet could be passing on insulin resistance and glucose intolerance to their children.

Using research carried out on male rats fed with a high fat diet, it was found that fathers who had unhealthy eating habits had daughters with abnormal cells that produce insulin . Once the rats had developed obesity and glucose intolerance are were mated with normal females, it was found that fathers yield female offspring with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion as they started to grow up.

Published in Nature, the study indicates that non-genetic factors could influence the development of type 2 diabetes in children. The research indicates that a high fat diet in fathers has the ability to alter how their sperm develops, which promotes an adult-onset disease in the daughters.

The study noted "Increasing evidence indicates an important biological role of fathers in obesity and metabolic programming of their offspring. Most human obesity seems to be related to complex gene environment interactions."

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, added "This neat piece of science shows for the first time, and independent of genetics, that a high fat diet in fathers can affect their female offspring and adds to the body of knowledge around the transmission of metabolic consequences."
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