Smoking, consumption of alcohol and processed food linked to sperm DNA damage: Experts : The Tribune India

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Smoking, consumption of alcohol and processed food linked to sperm DNA damage: Experts

Smoking, consumption of alcohol and processed food linked to sperm DNA damage: Experts

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PTI

New Delhi, April 16

Unhealthy lifestyle and social habits such as smoking, consumption of alcohol and processed food and excessive use of cell phones can cause damage to sperm DNA, experts at AIIMS, Delhi said.

They said that many people are also not aware that infertility, recurrent abortions in women and birth defects in children may happen because of poor sperm quality in men.

The father's role in conception and embryo development cannot be ignored, Dr Rima Dada, Professor at the Department of Anatomy, AIIMS, said, adding that sperm has minimal antioxidants and its DNA repair machinery is silent.

"Thus, unhealthy lifestyle and social habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive use of cell phones, processed foods, nutritionally depleted diet rich in calories, obesity and exposure to environment pollutants induce seminal oxidative stress and cause sperm DNA damage," Dr Dada said.

Besides, delayed age of marriage and conception further leads to deterioration in sperm quality, the doctor said at a press conference at the AIIMS.

With advancing age, the sperm DNA quality declines and this may lead to accumulation of de novo germline mutations and epimutations which means damaged sperm can result in congenital malformations, childhood cancers, autosomal dominant disorder and complex behaviour disorders like autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder in children Dada further said.

"Earlier studies from our lab have shown high levels of DNA damage are associated with failure to conceive spontaneously and recurrent pregnancy losses," she said.

Men need to be aware that their habits and psychological stress leave an epigenetic mark and signature on their sperm, Dr Dada said, adding, "Leading a healthy lifestyle and doing yoga daily improve mitochondrial and nuclear DNA integrity." "Yoga results in increased expression of genes coding for antioxidants and anti-inflammatory genes and genes coding for DNA repair mechanism. Yoga increases the expression and activity of Telomerase, coupled with the reduced oxidative stress and maintenance of sperm Telomere length and thus, prevents accelerated ageing of sperm.

"In addition, oxidative damage to sperm organelles is reduced and this aids in embryo development. Regular practice of yoga improves DNA quality and thus, reduced genetic and epigenetic disease burden in offspring, and positively impacts health trajectory of the offspring," Dr Dada said.

#AIIMS


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