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Obesity Side-effects on Fertility Can be Reversed, say Australian Researchers

Photo credit: www.ucl.ac.uk

Photo credit: www.ucl.ac.uk

Australian researchers have found how obesity and the consequent damage in the body is passed from a mother to her children and how it can be reversed.

Obesity in women leads to serious fertility problems, including the inability to conceive and if they give conceive, it can lead to altered growth of babies during pregnancy.

The researchers say that their study points towards a potential future therapy to restore “natural” fertility in obese women, and to prevent multi-generational damage passing onto their children, said lead author Rebecca Robker from the University of Adelaide in Australia.

“In our laboratory studies, we have been able to unravel a key mechanism that leads to this multi-generational damage, and we have found a way to stop it happening,” Robker noted.

The research team has zeroed in on obesity-related particular stress response that causes damage to the mitochondria, which are critical energy-producing ‘organs’ within living cells.

All of the mitochondria in our bodies come from our mother and it the mother is obese, it produces stress that can result in reduced transmission of mitochondria to the babies.

“Once we had identified the type of stress involved, we used compounds known to alleviate that stress in the cells. In particular, we were interested in compounds that are also being tested in diabetes clinical trials,” said Robker.

These stress-reducing compounds will be highly successful in preventing the body response, thereby stopping the damage from obesity being passed onto the offspring, Robker explained.

“It restored egg quality, embryo development and mitochondrial DNA to levels equivalent to those of a healthy mother. Effectively, the problem was fully reversed,” said Robker.

The study has been published in the journal Development.(IANS)

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