Gentlemen: You’ll Pass Your Bad Habits to Your Kids

Taking care of you means you won’t have overweight, tired, lethargic, and sick grandkids.

It turns out that your bad habits — drinking (not water), smoking (tobacco), and obesity — can be passed down to your kids.

Not only that, but they can affect your grandkids as well.

That’s a bummer.

A study published May 12th (here), links these bad habits with a whole host of possible inherited factors: increased risk of diabetes, decreased survivability, increased childhood cancer risk, neurological, learning, behavioral, and growth anomalies, just to name a few.

 

Let’s break them down.

Obesity: Human studies show an inherited risk of diabetes and low survivability in offspring, but it’s been hard to control for genetic predispositions and “obesogenic” environments.

pexels-photo-70497

(Image courtesy of Robin Stickel)

Unfortunately, when controlled for in animal studies, researches still found an increased risk of metabolic syndrome (high BMI, body fat, Triglycerides, high LDL/low HDL, high blood sugar, poor insulin sensitivity, high blood pressure, and fatty liver) and subfertility. More info on metabolic syndrome, and ways to cause/prevent it, can be found here.

Smoking: Human studies show compromised mitochondria (the power-house in your cell) and acrosome (the guy that breaks down the egg wall for fertilization) function in the sperm. In addition, alterations to the sperm DNA and diminished sperm function are hypothesized to increase childhood cancer risk due to increased mutation in the inherited DNA.

Alcohol: Due to the large number of confounding variables (variables that the researcher failed to control, or eliminate, damaging the internal validity of an experiment), there are no reliable specifics on the effects of alcohol. The hypothesis at the moment is that alcohol can cause neurological, learning, behavioral, and growth anomalies in offspring.

pexels-photo-27431

(Image courtesy of Unsplash)

The bad news.

It looks like obesity, smoking, and excess alcohol consumption can cause changes at a genetic level, leaving your kids — and their kids — open to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, fertility issues, diabetes, decreased survivability, increased childhood cancer risk, as well as neurological, learning, behavioral, and growth anomalies.

Further research is still needed to figure out exactly how these alterations result.

The good news.

Very simple changes — eating better, physical activity, reducing or stopping use of alcohol and tobacco — show promising results for reducing the risk of inheriting the genetic predisposition for the conditions discussed.

Do your part. By taking care of yourself, you’re reducing the risk of transgenerational obesity, metabolic syndrome, diminished neurological and behavioral capacity, and decreased fertility.

pexels-photo-106258

(Image courtesy of Kasuma)

Taking care of you means you won’t have overweight, tired, lethargic, and sick grandkids.

I read it so you don’t have to.

-rb3

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