Wednesday, 5 September, 2007

Can a woman's prepregnancy weight influence their son's sperm count?

Men whose mothers were obese before becoming pregnant may be prone to poor semen quality, a pilot study suggests. The research, by a Danish team, used information on 347 men born in 1984-7 and monitored as part of a national pregnancy cohort. All men had semen and blood samples analyzed to indicate their reproductive status. The study found a significant inverse correlation between men's inhibin B levels and their mother's pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). Several other markers of fecundity, including sperm concentration, semen volume, percent motile sperm, testosterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone levels, showed trends toward being impaired among sons of overweight mothers. None of the associations was statistically significant, however.
Craha Ramlau-Hansen, from University of Aarhus in Denmark, and co-authors remark that fat is a hormonally active tissue and that being overweight is associated with reduced fecundity in both women and men. In addition, men's BMI is associated with semen quality and reproductive hormonal status. "Our results suggest that there may be an effect of high maternal BMI on the sons' semen quality," the authors conclude. "We encourage others who have the necessary data to follow-up on this important hypothesis."
Guess this is another strong reason to go the Anjali Mukherjee diet.

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