If you smoked as a teenager, your children are more at risk of getting sick

smoking during adolescence It can have a negative impact on the health of future children, according to new research from the University of Bergen (Norway) and the University of Southampton (United Kingdom), which is the first carried out in humans that has found biological links between the smoking early in life and offspring.

Researchers examined the epigenetic profiles of 875 people between the ages of seven and 50 and the smoking habits of their parents to explore how tobacco use among adolescent boys may damage the genes of their future children and, as a consequence, increase the risk of them presenting a poor lung function and develop asthma and obesity.

These scientists found epigenetic changes at 19 sites when they mapped 14 genes into children of men who smoked before the age of 15. These changes in the way DNA is packaged in cells (so-called methylation) regulate gene expression and are linked to asthma, obesity and breathing difficulties. His findings have been published in Clinical Epigenetics.

“Early puberty would represent a critical window for physiological changes in children because it is when the stem cells that will produce sperm for the rest of their lives are established”

Changes in epigenetic markers were much more visible in children whose parents started smoking during puberty. “Early puberty can represent a critical window for physiological changes in children. This is when the stem cells that will produce sperm for the rest of their lives are established,” says co-author Dr. Negusse Kitaba, a researcher at the University of Southampton.

How smoking influences the health of future generations

“Our studies in the large international RHINESSA, RHINE and ECRHS studies have shown that the health of future generations depends on the actions and decisions young people make today, long before they become parents. This especially applies to children in early puberty or to mothers and grandmothers, before and during pregnancy. It is really exciting that we have now succeeded in identifying a mechanism that explains our observations in the cohorts,” says Professor Cecilie Svanes from the University of Bergen.

The study also compared epigenetic markers related to parental smoking before conception in people who smoked and in those whose mothers smoked before conception. “What is interesting is that 16 of the 19 markers associated with the father’s smoking in adolescence they had not previously been linked to personal or maternal smoking,” said Toril Mørkve Knudsen of the University of Bergen, one of the study’s first authors.

“Indeed, this may indicate that the new methylation signals we have found may be specific epigenetic changes that are unique to parental tobacco exposure at early puberty,” says Knudsen.

The number of youth smoking has declined significantly since the 1950s and 1960s, but researchers have raised concerns about youth e-cigarette use: “Some animal studies suggest that nicotine may be the substance in cigarette smoke that causes epigenetic changes in the offspring,” says Professor John Holloway of the University of Southampton. “Therefore, it is concerning that today’s adolescents, especially boys, are being exposed to very high levels of nicotine through vaping,” he says.

Source: www.webconsultas.com

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