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Individuals whose fathers or grandfathers were known to eat unhealthy diets may benefit from insulin testing. A new study from University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers has found that a father’s diet may affect his child’s metabolic function.
Previous studies have shown that a father or grandfather’s diet can influence the obesity risk of future generations. However, the new investigation is among the first to show that what a father eats causes changes to his DNA that can be passed from one generation to the next.
For the study, researchers fed a group of male mice a low-protein diet. They were then allowed to procreate. Genetic sequencing of the offspring of these mice showed numerous genetic alterations, particularly in areas of DNA that control the processing of fats by the liver. This caused mice to store more calories than they needed, which is known to increase the risk of diabetes.
Researchers said that the findings confirm the belief that when a parent or grandparent goes hungry, it can cause genetic changes that can lead to excess energy storage in the form of fat for future generations.
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