Monday December 17, 2018

Sperm Count 50% Lower in Men Whose Fathers Smoke: Study

"Unlike the maternal ovum, the father's gametes divide continuously throughout life and mutations often occur at the precise moment of cell division

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Each sperm has 37.5MB of DNA information in it.
Each sperm has 37.5MB of DNA information in it.
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While studies have repeatedly linked maternal smoking during pregnancy with reduced sperm count in male children, a new research showed that men whose fathers smoked at the time of pregnancy also had 50 per cent lower count of sperms than those with non-smoking fathers.

The findings showed that, independently of nicotine exposure from the mother, socioeconomic factors, and their own smoking, men with fathers who smoked had a 41 per cent lower sperm concentration and 51 per cent fewer sperm count than those with non-smoking fathers.

“I was very surprised that regardless of the mother’s level of exposure to nicotine, the sperm count of men whose fathers smoked was so much lower,” said Jonatan Axelsson, specialist physician at Lund University in Sweden. “We know there is a link between sperm count and chances of pregnancy, so that could affect the possibility for these men to have children in future.

“The father’s smoking is also linked to a shorter reproductive lifespan in daughters, so the notion that everything depends on whether the mother smokes or not doesn’t seem convincing,” he added.

However, the research has not determined the underlying mechanisms behind this. But, similar studies have shown links between smoking fathers and various health outcomes in children, such as malformations, Axelsson noted.

Child, baby, father
Sperm count 50% lower in men whose fathers smoke: Study. Pixabay

It could be because most newly occurring mutations (known as de novo mutations) come via the father and there are also links between the father’s age and a number of complex diseases, said researchers in the paper published in the journal PLOS ONE.

In addition, researchers have observed that smoking is linked to DNA damage in sperm and that smokers have more breaks in the DNA strand. Children of fathers who smoke have been reported to have up to four times as many mutations in a certain repetitive part of the DNA as children of non-smoking fathers.

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“Unlike the maternal ovum, the father’s gametes divide continuously throughout life and mutations often occur at the precise moment of cell division.

“We know that tobacco smoke contains many substances that cause mutations so one can imagine that, at the time of conception, the gametes have undergone mutations and thereby pass on genes that result in reduced sperm quality in the male offspring,” Axelsson said. The study was conducted on 104 Swedish men aged between 17 and 20 years.  (IANS)

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Research Shows Smoking Affects Leg Muscles

According to the researchers, smoking could directly damage the muscles by reducing the number of blood vessels in leg muscles,

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It is vitally important that we show people that the use of tobacco cigarettes has harmful consequences throughout the body, including large muscle groups needed for daily living, and develop strategies to stop the damage triggered by the detrimental components of cigarette smoke

If you believe that smoking affects only the lungs, then you may be wrong as a new study showed that components in cigarette smoke may directly damage the muscles in your leg as well.

According to the researchers, smoking could directly damage the muscles by reducing the number of blood vessels in leg muscles, which in turn reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients the muscles received.

“It is vitally important that we show people that the use of tobacco cigarettes has harmful consequences throughout the body, including large muscle groups needed for daily living, and develop strategies to stop the damage triggered by the detrimental components of cigarette smoke,” said lead author Ellen Breen from the University of California-San Diego, US.

It is vitally important that we show people that the use of tobacco cigarettes has harmful consequences throughout the body, including large muscle groups needed for daily living, and develop strategies to stop the damage triggered by the detrimental components of cigarette smoke

Under a mouse model, a team of researchers from California along with Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Kochi University in Japan, exposed the mice to smoke from tobacco cigarettes for eight weeks, either by inhalation or by injecting them with a solution bubbled with smoke.

smoking
smoking could directly damage the muscles by reducing the number of blood vessels in leg muscles, which in turn reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients the muscles received. Pixabay

The results, published in The Journal of Physiology, also showed that the reduced level of oxygen and nutrients due to reduced blood vessels may impact the metabolism and activity levels.

Read More: Avoid Foods Full of Trans Fats if You Are Worried About High Cholesterol Levels

Both these are risk factors for many chronic diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes.
The study, however, could not identify the chemical responsible out of the 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette smoke that caused the muscle damage.

Researchers said that further study is needed to identify them, along with understanding the process by which they reduce the number of blood vessels. (IANS)