While much of the emphasis has been placed on advising women to abstain from alcohol while pregnant, research shows men who consume alcohol can cause disorders in their children. Though it’s not clear how much alcohol is a risk factor, it is clear dads should be passing on alcohol if they want to ensure their children are healthy.
A study, published in the American Journal of Stem Cells in May 2016, detailed how a father’s lifestyle can have an unexpected influence on his child’s health.
Senior researcher Joanna Kitlinska, Ph.D. stated, in an article published in Tech Times
“We know the nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring.”
The findings showed that the same can be said with the biological fathers whose age, lifestyle and drinking behaviors can affect the molecules involved in gene function.
“In this way, a father can affect not only his immediate offspring, but future generations as well,” added Kitlinska.
Additional research is needed, but the message of Zero Alcohol For Nine Months (049) needs to be expanded to include no alcohol for men planning on having a child.
2018 Update: Here is a link to an article in Science Daily from 2014 outlining: Ground breaking new research has been revealed which shows dads may have more accountability.
Published in Animal Cells and Systems, researchers studied male mice exposed to varying concentrations of alcohol and one control group exposed only to saline. After exposure the mice were mated and resulting fetuses examined. The findings revealed previously unknown and riveting evidence that paternal alcohol consumption can directly affect fetal development.
Until now fathers’ lifestyle choices have not seen any repercussion on their unborn children. This ground-breaking research provides the first definitive evidence that fathers’ drinking habits pre-conception can cause significant fetal abnormalities.
Another study has revealed risky or binge drinking by either sex, before a pregnancy can cause harm.
We have known for many years that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to developmental delays and birth defects in offspring. However, our data demonstrate that drinking large quantities of alcohol in a “binge” fashion before pregnancy can also impact future offspring and importantly, this is true for drinking behaviors of both parents, not just the mother.
Our previous data support the idea that alcohol is affecting the parental sperm and eggs to induce these modifications in the offspring, but this most recent work shows the extent of those effects on social behavior, pubertal maturation, and stress hormones as the offspring grow to adulthood.
This means that the risky behaviors of young people, such as the extremely popular practice of binge drinking, have potentially far-reaching consequences for generations to come.
You can find an article and link to the Study at: Prevention Conversation .
Stay tuned for Day 10 on this 99 Day Journey to FASDay!