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Father's gut bacteria can impact infant health

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 3 months ago

A recent study conducted by researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Rome has found that disrupting the gut microbiomes of male mice can have significant implications for the health of their offspring. The study involved treating male mice with antibiotics to decrease the diversity and abundance of gut microbes, which resulted in their offspring being at a higher risk of low birth weight, stunted growth, and premature death.

While previous research has focused on the link between maternal gut microbes and infant health, this study sheds light on the potential impact of paternal gut health on offspring. The researchers found that pups from mice with impaired gut microbiomes had lower birth weights, higher rates of stunted growth, and a higher likelihood of premature death compared to pups from control group mice.

Further experiments revealed that mice treated with antibiotics had smaller testes, lower sperm counts, and differences in hormone levels that influence reproductive health. Additionally, changes in the placenta of mice impregnated by these animals were observed, indicating potential complications in pregnancy outcomes.

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, a researcher at Rutgers University, praised the study as a significant advancement in understanding the relationship between gut health and reproductive health. She highlighted the importance of paternal health in influencing sperm quality and infant health, as well as the potential implications for pregnancy outcomes.

However, it is important to note that the study was conducted in mice, and further research is needed to determine if similar effects would be seen in humans. Regardless, the findings underscore the complex interplay between gut microbiomes and overall health, emphasizing the need for further exploration in this area.

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