Friday March 22, 2019

Child’s Health Also Impacted By The Father’s Exercise Routine

The researchers also found that exercise helped even with a poor diet.

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Infants, baby, WOmb
Winter care for your little ones. Pixabay

Many people know that a woman’s health, including her diet and exercise habits, can impact the health of her baby even before she gets pregnant. But, until recently, little was known about a father’s diet and exercise choices.

Matthew Hurt is teaching his young sons how to hit a baseball. He wants them to enjoy sports and exercising.

“I want it to be just natural for them. I don’t want it to be a chore. I want them to just want to go outside, want to be active and enjoy life to its fullest.”

Impact of exercise

A study at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center looked at the impact of fathers’ exercise habits on their offspring.

Kristin Stanford is a member of Ohio State’s Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center. She co-led the study. The results showed that even moderate exercise before a baby was conceived “resulted in an improved metabolic health in their adult offspring. Essentially, it improved their glucose metabolism, decreased body weight and increased their insulin sensitivity.”

The World Health Organization says 1 in 4 adults worldwide are dangerously inactive. That increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

Child, baby, father
A man twirls a young baby on a waterfront park as downtown Seattle disappears in a smoky haze behind, Aug. 19, 2018. VOA

Inactivity also has social and economic consequences.

The research at Ohio State was done in mice. More work needs to be done to see if it applies to people as well.

“The idea would be that if you have a dad who wants to have a baby, if they would exercise maybe just a month prior to conception, that would have a really dramatic effect on their child’s life.”

Child, baby, father
Exposure to smoking in childhood thickens arteries’ walls which, in turn, ups the risks of heart attack and stroke. Pixabay

Poor diet? Just exercise

The researchers also found that exercise helped even with a poor diet. Sedentary mice fed a high fat diet passed along negative health issues like obesity and insulin resistance, but those effects were completely reversed by exercise.

Also Read: Top Health Habits Which Parents Can Teach Their Children

“A high-fat diet, even mild high-fat diet, in this case it was only three weeks, changes the profile, but exercise kind of restored it back to normal.”

More work needs to be done to see if the same applies to humans. But in the animal studies, exercise for the male mouse was key to the health of his offspring.

Next Story

Vitamin B in Pregnancy Prevents Brain Ailments in Baby

However, these effects were prevented if the mother had higher choline levels, the findings showed

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baby
When mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the newborns'  ability to cease or delay the effect on the brain decreased by 27 per cent. Pixabay

Besides flu vaccines, maternal intake of a vitamin B nutrient can prevent babies from brain disorders caused by cold or flu in pregnancy, say researchers.

The study showed that higher levels of choline prevented brain problems and mental illness, like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia, in babies even when the mother had cold or flu during pregnancy.

“Cold and flu are often unavoidable, even if the mother has had a flu shot. But cold and flu during pregnancy double the risk of future mental illnesses. More and more information show choline helps the baby’s brain develop properly,” said Robert Freedman, Professor at the University of Colorado in the US.

“We found higher levels of choline prevent foetal brain problems from developing, even when the mother is infected. Choline supplements in pregnancy can have a lifelong benefit for the infant,” Freedman said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics, the team assessed prenatal maternal infection, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) — a marker of maternal inflammation — and the mothers’ choline levels.

Brain development before birth was assessed by measuring the baby’s brain waves soon after birth.

baby
The study showed that higher levels of choline prevented brain problems and mental illness, like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia, in babies even when the mother had cold or flu during pregnancy. Pixabay

When mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the newborns’

ability to cease or delay the effect on the brain decreased by 27 per cent.

Maternal flu also decreased children’s ability to pay attention and play.

Also Read- Know When Older Adults Feel Younger Than Their Age

However, these effects were prevented if the mother had higher choline levels, the findings showed.

While the body creates some choline on its own and it is also naturally present in certain foods, including liver, red meat and eggs, pregnant women are recommended 450 mg of choline a day to improve babies’ brain development. (IANS)