Obese mothers may lead to infertile children

According to a study accepted for publication in the journal Endocrinology, decreased hormone levels in obese women may cause their children to be infertile.

Researchers say very overweight women are lacking a hormone called ghrelin, which is involved in energy balance and metabolism. It is also known to regulate reproductive functions in animals and humans. In this particular study, mice whose mothers contained low levels of ghrelin were less fertile because of a defect in implantation.

“While our study involved mice, we believe our findings have significant implications for women,” said lead author Hugh Taylor. “Our results suggest that low ghrelin levels could program the development of the uterus in the female children of obese women. These women may then be less fertile as adults.”

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