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Planning a baby? Father's diet before conception may impact child's health

ANI | Updated: Oct 14, 2017 12:24 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 14 (ANI): Dear men, if you are planning for a baby, include fish, meat, vegetables and fruits in your diet daily as your diet before conception can impact newborn's health, claims a recent study.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, U.S. found that a low carbohydrate and high protein diet by the father will help the child's healthier once they are born.

They studied male fruit flies and the impact of their diet on the offspring as fruit flies share 60 percent of genes with humans.

The results showed that offspring were less likely to survive if their fathers consumed a poor diet of high carbohydrates and low protein.

The team mated male fruit flies with females after they altered their diet.

They found that men who want to become fathers should have a diet consisting of fish, meat, vegetables and fruit while cutting out pasta, rice and white bread.

Sugary foods such as sweets, cakes and biscuits should also be avoided.

A researcher Michal Polak said, "In many species, the moms do a lot of the care. So we expect there to be an effect from maternal diet on offspring because of that strong link. But it was a real surprise to find a link between paternal diet and offspring."

The study comes at a time when researchers are learning more about other influences men have on babies' health that are not necessarily coded within genes, a concept called epigenetics.

These influences include direct environmental effects such as exposure to toxins that can be passed from the father to his offspring through his semen.

During the experiment, female fruit flies were fed the same diet while males had different ones consisting of yeast and sugars.

After 17 days on the strict diet, the males were mated with two females.

The results found that embryos were more likely to survive if they had a father with a high protein and low carb diet.

The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (ANI)