Diabetes linked to flabby dads

The study tracked a group of rats that were fed fatty foods until they were obese and showing precursory signs of type 2 diabetes and were then bred with females of average weight, explained lead researcher Margaret Morris.

Morris said that despite being reared on a strictly healthy diet, their offspring developed impaired glucose tolerance and insulin production when they reached young adulthood.
“If what we see here in a rat translates to a human it may well explain the emerging earlier rates of diabetes in younger people,” said Morris, from the University of New South Wales.
Rather than passing their ill health to their children genetically, Morris said the metabolic issues appeared to have come from damage done to the rats’ sperm by their diet. It was the first study to uncover such a link, she added.

“We’ve known for a while that overweight mums are more likely to have chubby babies. But until now, the impact of the father’s environment — in terms of diet — on his offspring had not been investigated.”

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