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Mums Who Smoke Damage Sons' Fertility

Source :      Pubdate : 2013/1/7 15:19:00      Author :


The smoking habits or obesity of mums-to-be during pregnancy could have more of an impact on their son's fertility than his own lifestyle choices, new UK research has found.

The Queen's Medical Research Institute in Edinburgh investigated the increasing problem of low-sperm count among young men in Europe.

The study's author, Professor Richard Sharpe, found exposure to toxins, such as cigarette smoke, pesticides and traffic pollution while in the womb does more damage to a male's fertility than any lifestyle choices during adult life, the UK's Daily Mail reported.

The report suggested that early exposure to these toxins has adverse affects on the development of sertoli cells in the unborn baby's body.

Sertoli cells play a vital role in the creation and maturation of sperm cells within the testes, they secret hormones which trigger sperm development and consume waste material once the sperm cells have reached maturation, WiseGeek.com explained.

Professor Sharpe collated information from studies from around the world, examining the impact of a pregnant mother's smoking during pregnancy, exposure to toxins and chemicals and obesity had on her son's fertility. The damage was also likely to be irreversible, Professor Sharpe warned.

The same exposure to chemicals and toxins did not have the same damaging affect on grown men, the study reported, but smoking, obesity, sedentary and an unhealthy lifestyle also has a negative impact on fertility, the Daily Mail reported.

"As this review has shown, evidence for widespread or major effects of individual lifestyle or environmental factors on spermatogenesis in adulthood is largely lacking, whereas there is growing evidence that prenatal exposures of males (reflective of maternal lifestyle or exposures) can have major impact on capacity to produce sperm in adulthood," Professor Sharpe wrote.

The study, "Environmental/Lifestyle Effects on Spermatogenesis", was published in the medical journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

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