Anglia Ruskin University
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Paternal nutrition: a neglected periconceptual influence on offspring health

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posted on 2023-08-30, 10:47 authored by Damiano Pizzol, Poppy Gibson, Arlindon Muhelo, Alessandro Bertoldo, Giacomo Carraro, Mario Antunes, Lee Smith

Increasing evidence suggests that paternal nutrition and nutritional status are potentially associated with offspring health. However, its specific configuration in the wider concept of trans-generational linkage and how it fits with genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors is unclear. Thus, the aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of paternal nutrition or nutritional status on offspring health. This systematic review included 12 studies and a total of 8658 fathers and relative children. Paternal body mass index (BMI) was significantly related with cord blood DNA methylation, birthweight and obesity in offspring at follow-up, anthropometric measurements and obestatin and visfatin levels. Only one study investigated and showed an association between paternal river fish diet and lower risk of autism spectrum disorder. No association was reported in single studies between paternal intake of caffeine, folate vitamins B6 and B12 and offspring health outcomes. Limited data suggests that paternal nutrition and nutritional status are associated with components of offspring health. Considering this emerging concept, it is mandatory to reconsider the approach to fertility and offspring wellbeing, including fathers as a pivotal element. It is urgent to better understand how the male factor impacts couple fertility and offspring health outcomes. It is also crucial to ensure that, at conception, the father, as well as the mother, considers nutritional and lifestyle factors.



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