Your partner’s at prenatal yoga class and you’re sneaking in a pizza and a pint with the boys?
Wait! Men contribute to their child’s fetal health too!
One of the myths about preconception is that it’s only the mother who is entirely responsible for fetal health. Did you know the burden is shared and the father has a serious role also?
For one example, a study by American Journal of Stem Cells on transgenerational effects of paternal preconception exposures, showed indicators that paternal age can potentially lead to congenital defects.
We encourage you to relax as you read this though. Stress can also have epigenetic influences on your genome.
...and that of future generations
The study goes on to say environmental effects during the lifetime of a father can affect not only his immediate offspring but future generations as well. For example, it’s been shown that pesticide exposure promotes the epigenetic inheritance of obesity.
Feel free to step outside for a breath of fresh air while you take all this in. Make sure it’s fresh as can be though, as exposures to pollution can also cross generations.
Other environmental factors such as smoking and irradiation can lead to diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other diseases in transgenerational offspring of exposed fathers.
You’ve gone back to your Pizza in despair. What can you do?
It’s important to realise that you don’t inherit as much as what you can change. In fact, did you know you are the first of a generation that can test for your epigenetic outcomes and actually monitor changes in methylation of your DNA as you try and improve against them? Your grandparents never had this luxury.
We’re lucky to have the knowledge that epigenetic changes can be halted or even reversed. Mindfulness, exercise and eating well can slow ageing. What’s even better about today however, is we are now able to measure the changes, from our own laptop at home.
Pioneering research in measuring your outcomes
You can measure epigenetic changes with the Chronomics’s Lifestyle Programme, the first epigenetic product for consumers. For example you spit in a tube, send off for the results and monitor from the comfort of your own home the results of outcomes such as your biological ageing rate or your full genome sequence. You can then run a retest in 12 months to measure the success of your changes to lifestyle - to see the effect they have had.
(Failing all that you could also put that pizza down and wait over 14 hours before you pick it up again. Intermittent fasting, which restricts when you eat rather than how much you eat, has been shown to promote longevity).