On Campus

Want to be a father? Watch your diet.

New study shows a father's diet can have a genetic impact on his offspring

diet, genes, genetic, epigeneticA father’s diet can actually have an impact on certain genes in his offspring, according to researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin.

The study, which was published in the journal Cell, involved feeding one group of male mice a low protein diet, while another group was fed a normal diet. Hundreds of genetic alterations were observed in the offspring of the low-protein mice, including genes involved in fat and cholesterol production.

This finding suggests that transgenerational inheritance of environmental information is possible in mammals. In other words, it’s not just a matter of ‘nature versus nurture’ anymore- your parents “nurture” can affect your ‘nature.’

So if there are any nasty surprises on your transcript this semester, your study habits might not be the problem- you can blame your father.

-Photo courtesy of † Jimmy MacDonald †

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