New research, conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, has found that men who suffer from psychological stress can put their kids at risk of developing high blood sugar levels.
The study adds to the evidence that a father passes down more than just genetic code to their children.
During the study, experts placed two male mice in plastic tubes for two hours a day for two weeks to induce stress.
They then measured the animals’ glucose levels, which had increased, and whether they had gained weight or not, which they had. They also showed signs of increased levels of the stress hormone glucocorticoids in their blood.
They were then mated with females who had not been put under the same stresses.
The resulting offspring were found to have high blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes.
"We are very interested in how behavioural change affects glucose homeostasis. Paternal psychological stress can result in hyperglycemia in offspring in mice,” explained Xiaoying Li from the University in China.
With the results of their findings, experts hope to be able to find some way to block the negative impact the stress hormone has on sperm.