Cardio Metabolic Health Congress – Official Blog

Men’s Weight Impacts Epigenetic Markers on Sperm Cells, Likely to Affect Health of Future Children

The study consisted of 13 men with a BMI of 22.9 and 10 men with a BMI of 31.8. In the first part of the study, the researchers found that sperm from obese men had a distinct epigenetic signature in comparison to the normal weight men, particularly at genes that control brain development and function. In the second part of the study, the researchers observed 6 men before and up to a year after they had undergone bariatric surgery. Within weeks, 3000 differences in epigenetic patterns of the men’s sperm were seen, and after a year, as their diet and lifestyle improved, there were upwards of 5000 changes. Differences were particularly noted at gene regions associated with central control of appetite. These results, according to the researchers, demonstrate that the epigenetic landscape of human sperm is dynamic and vulnerable to environmental changes.

“It’s another critical piece of information that informs us about the very real need to look at the preconception health of fathers,” said Ida Donkin, MD in a press release, one of the authors of the study. “And it’s a message we need to disseminate in society.”

Learn more when CMHC faculty member Harold Bays, MD, an expert in obesity and how epigenetics contribute to obesity as a “transgenerational” disease, speaks at the inaugural CMHC West March 4-5, 2016 in San Francisco on “Treating Obesity Seriously: How Genetics and Epigenetic Factors Affect Weight.” (Also visit the CMHC website to view Dr. Bays’s presentation from the 10th Annual CMHC.)

Donkin et al. Obesity and bariatric surgery drive epigenetic variation of spermatozoa in humans. Cell Metabolism. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.11.004 .

“Burst” Exercise Leads to Greater Cardiometabolic Improvements in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers studied 76 patients with type 2 diabetes randomly assigned to either 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week at 65% of their target heart rate, or 10 minutes of exercise 3 times per day, 5 days per week at 85% of their target heart rate. The “burst” exercisers experienced a 2.3-fold greater improvement in HbA1c and a 3-fold reduction in BMI, along with greater improvements in LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride levels and stronger cardiac fitness, which was measured by stress testing.

It isn’t clear why burst exercise resulted in more significant cardiometabolic improvements than longer, low-intensity exercise. Lead study author Avinash Pandey suggested it may be due to higher intensity exercise using energy in a different way. “We are hoping to continue looking at burst exercise and sustained energy in larger and more diverse patient populations. With further study, burst exercise may become a viable alternative to the current standard of care of low-intensity, sustained exercise for diabetes rehabilitation,” he said. Read more