Men Who Drink Can Give Their Offspring Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Photo: Chris Tobin

Men who love to drink but also want to partake in the life-altering experience of producing another human being may want to reconsider some of their life choices. A new Georgetown University study shows that babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) can be born to a woman who’s never even had a sip of alcohol if the man who got her pregnant is a drunk.

“We know the nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently alters organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her offspring,” Dr. Joanna Kitlinska said in a press release. “But our study shows the same thing to be true with fathers.”

Longtime bystanders to the difficulties of pregnancy, men may soon find themselves suffering for the sake of the unborn too. Unlike woman, who generally avoid booze during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, this study suggests guys will want to avoid it altogether before conception. Sorry, guys. That means no keg stands. No Jaeger-fueled benders. And no shotgunning entire 40s of malt liquor.

According to Dr. Kitlinska, “75 percent of children with FASD have biological fathers who are alcoholics.” The problem appears to be drinking that’s so excessive it changes the genes that a man passes down to his kids. In other words, men who don’t drink like Mickey Mantle will probably have healthy offspring. And if you do drink like the Yankee great, it’s probably best to not reproduce anyway.