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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Procreating dad? Study suggests your baby is what you eat

By Geoffrey Mohan



As if you didn't have enough pressure!


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Men may want to double down on a healthy diet and clean living in the months before procreation, according to a study that suggests a father's vitamin B9 deficiency may contribute to birth defects in offspring.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, show that a male mouse's diet can affect the signaling of genes contained in its sperm. As a result, those fathers apparently pass along an embedded "environmental memory" that affects how the genetic code plays out for the baby both in the womb and during a lifetime.

Attention to diet, particularly folate, has been a mainstay of women's reproductive health. But until recently, the male's contribution to an offspring's epigenome, a kind of programming overlay to DNA, has attracted far less attention.

"It's always put on the mother that it's her health that determines the health of the baby," said McGill University reproductive biologist Sarah Kimmins, an author of the study. "But our research and that of some other groups is really showing that this is an outdated way of thinking. Guys also need to consider their health, and what they're eating and what they're doing, in terms of the future health of their offspring."

Using mice as a model, researchers correlated low paternal folate levels with changes in the expression of several dozen genes in offspring, including those that regulate development of the central nervous system, and those implicated in diseases such as cancer and diabetes.


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Epigenetics researchers have focused on the exchange of a carbon atom bonded with three atoms of hydrogen — a methyl group — among certain base pairs of DNA and the histone proteins that package and shape them.

"If you don't have enough folate, you don't have enough of these methyl groups, and these methyl groups act like tags on the DNA, to tell genes whether they should be really strongly on, on just a little bit or off," said Kimmins, who holds the Canada research chair for epidemiology, reproduction and development. "So if you don't have enough of those biochemical flags, you're going to transmit that to the embryo via the sperm."

Methylation lies at the heart of the deprogramming and reprogramming that goes on when sperm and egg meet and begin the process of cell division and specialization. It facilitates the development of complex human biology, but sometimes opens paths that lead to cancer and disease.

Studies have shown that epigenetic changes affect not only the individual during a lifetime, but her progeny. One study showed that genetic signals persisted in the twin offspring of women exposed to the Nazi-imposed food embargo of the Netherlands in 1944-1945, for example. Another suggested that high prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals in utero could lead to inherited genetic changes two generations later.


On the paternal side, a 2010 study in the journal Nature showed that a high-fat diet among male mice affected expression of an array of genes in daughters, including those regulating insulin storage and release. Another study of mice published in the journal Cell that same year showed that a father's low-protein diet altered the fat-regulating genes of offspring.

Researchers theorize that epigenetic signaling is a widely conserved evolutionary trait that can safeguard a species' genetic code and propel cellular-level adaptation to a changing environment.

But today's environment sends signals that are at best mixed — through exposures to toxic chemicals, and consumption of foods high in fat and low in vital nutrients. The consequences, medical experts say, are rising rates of cancer, birth defects, heart disease and diabetes.

The folate deprivation regime of the mice in the current study was meant to mimic food scarcity already experienced in many regions of the world, Kimmins noted. But it also paralleled poor folate processing typical in obesity, which is rising in areas of relative food abundance.

The correlations found in the study don't identify the "smoking gun" mechanism that connects paternal diet and defects in offspring, but offer promising leads for additional research. A good part of the problem is technical, Kimmins noted — it is hard to isolate cells in early developmental stages, and the rapid process of cell division makes it difficult to capture biochemical changes that can be multi-factorial and time sensitive.

"No, we can't say we can directly track the mechanism, but we can certainly say it's the first time we've documented that food changed the sperm epigenome, which then was linked with developmental genes, and with birth defects," Kimmins said.

Others not involved in the study called the correlations intriguing.

The study "drew out some biologically plausible genes that are critical in processes that we think are important in human development and also in long-term outcomes" of health, said Jane Figueiredo, an epidemiologist at USC's Keck School of Medicine who has researched epigenetic factors in disease. "Certainly folate is not going to be the only contributor to different methylation patterns, but it's a key finding that at least it's contributing."

James Crott, who studies human nutrition and aging at Tufts University, said such studies will have to be replicated with larger samples. His research has shown similar epigenetic effects of B-vitamin deficiency on colorectal cancer genesis in mouse offspring.

"There's a lot to be done in this field, but this is an important contribution," he said.

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