Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Obesity Leads to Gamete Damage

Obesity can lead to a multitude of serious health problems. One that is not often discussed is the damage that it can cause to sperm production. In one experiment Zucker rats, chosen for metabolic characteristics that are close to our own, were examined for a variety of traits revolving around reproductive function. Twelve rats were selected from the same litter, some of which were over fed resulting in obesity. After being examined it was found that obesity caused many problems in regard to reproductive function.
               Among the things affected were the physical anatomy of the genitals, difference in organ weight, onset of puberty, and sperm production. The affects obesity had on sperm production were alarming. It was found that gamete production was significantly decreased as well as having notable damage to the DNA. The DNA fragmentation may result from cells that did not undergo apoptosis correctly and proceed to spermiogenesis. This is most likely due to a deficiency in leptin, a hormone that helps to regulate reproductive function.

These findings are startling to say the least as these hormones and receptors are also part of our own genome. As the obesity crisis continues on, we must start to worry about the damage being inadvertently done to future generations. Not only do future generation have to deal with the epigenetic effects of artificial additives and unknown consequences of GMO foods, but they may very well be damaged before conception.

1 comment:

  1. This article was interesting because, even with all the talk in the United States about obesity, I have never heard about the implications of obesity on sperm production and therefore reproduction. This should be discussed more because perhaps it would lead to people making life changes, whether that means dieting or working out more. This could then decreasing the rate of obesity in the United States. It may not be significantly, however, anything would be beneficial. Additionally, the damage to DNA might concern those and therefore also lead to a change in lifestyle.