Christmas dinner

To all potential fathers in the upcoming festive season, it might be worth taking note of a study linking your diet with the gene function of your future offspring.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin, US, have found that – in mice, at least – the offspring of malnourished fathers exhibit a marked increase in the activity of genes responsible for cholesterol and lipid synthesis (compared with the offspring of well-fed fathers).

At a very basic level, this looks like good news for future fathers in the season of over-indulgence. The offspring of well fed fathers should be, according to a rather sweeping extrapolation of the findings, less susceptible to diseases that involve elevated cholesterol and lipid levels - such as diabetes and heart disease.

For a more thoughtful interpretation of the findings, it would be worth checking out the full study published in the journal Cell.

Bea Perks

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