Sunday, April 27, 2008

Does your diet determine what sex your baby will be?

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What a fascinating thought! Back when I was in medical school, we learned that a baby’s gender really depends only on whether a sperm with an X chromosome or a sperm with a Y chromosome fertilizes the egg. But low and behold, a study from Oxford suggests it may be more complicated than that. These scientists reviewed the records of 740 women who delivered their first baby, and found a correlation between higher energy intake (calories) around the time of conception, and the birth of boy babies.

The article in the New York Times points out that in vitro fertilization experience shows that high glucose (sugar) levels encourage the growth of male embryos and discourage the growth of female embryos. Interestingly, I remember being taught in medical school that sperm with an X chromosome swam better than sperm with a Y chromosome (I wish I could find the documentation for that…). This article, from a scientist in Germany shows that the hormonal environment can influence sex ratios in the offspring of mammals and of birds. It’s interesting to consider how these findings might all be related, and how it may or may not be adaptive for the species to alter sex ratio of newborns based on environmental conditions. Food for thought…

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Θεμις Μαντζαβινος said...


It is amaizing post and I like it.

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