New Moms

Low Hormone Levels in Moms May Cause Daughters' Infertility

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Levels of a hormone I’ve never heard of, ghrelin, are low in obese women and a recent study reports that mice who had low levels of ghrelin had offspring with fertility problems.

The research is being published in Endocrinology, a publication brought to us by the Endocrine Society.

Ghrelin is a hormone associated with energy balance and metabolism. It is known to regulate reproductive function in animals and humans. This association with reproductive organ malfunctioning is new. Its role is unclear. The study looked at ghrelin deficiency on the developmental programming of female fertility in the second generation.

“While our study involved mice, we believe our findings have significant implications for women,” said Hugh Taylor, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. He is the lead author of the study. “Our results show that low ghrelin levels could program the development of the4 uterus in the female children of obese women. These women may then be less fertile as adults.”

The data from this study shows that female mice born of mice with ghrelin deficiency had diminished fertility and had smaller litters than female mice born from mothers with average ghrelin levels.

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Source: The Endocrine Society, MedicalNewsToday