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Paternal alcohol exposure impacts developmental abnormalities in offspring.

bottle of wine
Andree Suddoo

‘A social affair’.

Alcohol is a way to relax after a long and difficult day of frustration at work or to resolve any relationships issues. Fridays and weekends tend to be heavy binging days. High school and college students are known to party using a mixture of alcohol and prescribed medicine; looking for ‘new high’.

Drinking has many negative consequences.

Rape, domestic violence, car accidents, cancers and an increase of mortality have all been related to alcohol consumption. Women drinking during pregnancy have deadly costs on the fetus and its development.

What was unknown is the impact of alcohol consumption in men.

A research demonstrates that alcohol drinking impacts also man ‘spermatozoids. Trans-generational toxic effects of paternal exposure are due to alcohol-induced epigenetic mutations in sperm DNA. These epimutations in the critical genes required for normal development can be transmitted through fertilization; resulting in trans-generational toxicities. Since only germ cells are in contact with alcohol in paternal exposure, the male sperm has to be the only mediator of toxic effects for paternal alcohol exposure.

The study was published online in the journal of animal cells and systems, 24 December 2013. Volume 17, issue 6, 2013. ‘Transgenerational effects of paternal alcohol exposure in mouse offspring.’

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