Men of Dadliness,
I made a post subtitled, “Genotype and Phenotype of Health: Changing the World.” Little did I know I was onto something…
What I’m about to tell you floored the shit out of me. I think it will give you all some food for thought as well. Bare with me as I push up my broken glasses and adjust my pocket protector; we’re going to talk Sperm Science. Yeah, Sperm Science.
Before I try to sound smart lets start with this.
I’ve been asked by several readers just when my Dadly journey began. I couldn’t really come up with a clear, succinct answer. I had to rub the two brain-cells I have together to come up something worth telling.
Since I can remember I really wanted to be a father. My future life always included a wife and some little ones. This wasn’t my plan because of societal norms, a religious background, or family pressures. I just made the decision early in my life. My best friend of about 19 years, Josh, will tell you that without reservation. He told my wife at his wedding, “You know, Nik’s always wanted to be a dad. He’s talked about it since we were kids.” For me, hearing my childhood buddy tell that to my wife was the biggest complement in my life. My love for Josh, no matter how often we see each other, is unwavering.
But did my Dadly journey begin then when Josh and I were kids egging houses and stealing beer from parties we weren’t invited to? Couldn’t be. I figured my pursuit to perfect The Art of Dadliness began when I had my first child. Easy, accurate answer…right?
What would you think if I told you your Dadly responsibilities started way before your first born? What if I were to tell you that setting your children up for success began before you even considered becoming a father? Did my Dadly journey begin without me even knowing it? We’ve already drove home that internalizing what you pass onto your children (the Dadly Principles) is the only way to lead by example. As Dadly dad’s we can never be caught saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s fucking bullshit.
But what I’m about to cover goes even deeper than the philosophical principles we discuss here. It touches on the scientific level, the cellular level…the baby batter level. Were talking about the epigenetics of sperm. How we pass on our genetic material to our little ones.
But guess what…its possible you could greatly effect that genetic material you pass on. You may be able to alter your own sperm by adopting a healthy lifestyle. WHAT?!
Internalizing Fitness and Health Because of Fucking Science Dude
Studies confirm again and again that healthy lifestyles, or lack thereof, are passed down to future generations. Parents that really internalize and prioritize their health are more likely to have children that do the same. That’s why its important to really establish your Dadly genotype of health, and show your children via your “healthy phenotype” (I internalize that diet is of utmost importance thus my children will see me eating meals with lean meat, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and low-glycemic fruit and limiting refined bullshit sugar). But those healthy choices actually DO REALLY effect your genotype in regards to your sperm genetics!!! I wrote a post using “genotype” and “phenotype” as analogies for health inheritance. I had NO CLUE there is evidence to support the real thing!
I came across several articles that really showed me that The Art of Dadliness can begin way before that twitch in your balls telling you, “Lets start our family honey.” I have to give a shout out to my good buddy Adam Marsh for steering me to this awesome information. Hey Adam, ya old fuck.
Having a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, Dr. Rhonda Patrick of foundmyfitness.com makes scientific evidence on health easy to understand for chimps like me. If you don’t follow people like Dr. Patrick, Chris Kresser, or Dr. Valter D. Longo, you are truly missing out on optimal fitness and lifestyle evidence that is revolutionary. Dr. Patrick posted a phenomenal study supporting that three months of exercise in humans can modify sperm epigenetics by manipulating genome-wide DNA methylation. The peer reviewed article states most importantly that profound methylation occurred in genes associated with disease such as cancer, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. These genes were essentially trancriptionally silenced. Furthermore, exercise activated genes responsible for the development and adaptation of exercise.
Okay, what the fuck is this and methhhhylatiooonbahblahblah? In chimp terms, a 3-month exercise regimen in men can change the epigenetic profile of sperm, silencing genes that could lead to disease. Holy shit Batman. You’re telling me three months of strapping on my leotard and hitting Richard Simmons videos in my living room will cure cancer? That sounds like an awesome time, but not quite. The big takeaway is that as Dad’s, we have another superpower that you only read in sci-fi novels. We potentially have the power to reduce the possibility of disease in our children…and it starts before our kids are even born!
Another awesome article Dr. Patrick shared points towards something Super-Dad’s could potentially pass onto their children. Good brains and cognition. We could use this with all the flat earthers and conspiracy theory creeps.
In a mammal study on moderately-exercised mice, it was concluded that there is a direct transmission of exercised induced effects through the paternal sperm. These effects brought on my fatherly exercise were a direct factor in offspring brain make-up and cognition. Basically, do P90X and birth a fucking Einstein. You feel me??
I understand this study was on mice, and could potentially be non applicable with future evidence. But doesn’t it make you think…? If other mammals are using healthy habits to alter genetic material passed onto their children…could we? If these small mice are laying the foundation for optimized cognition and brain structure for their offspring…do the Men of Dadliness possess this as well?
We Want the Best for Our Kids..Give Them the Grindstone.
No matter how competitive, petty, or downright childish you may be, as Dad’s we want the best for our little ones. As Dadly-Dad’s, our children’s successes in life bring us ultimate joy. We want nothing more than for our children to be better then ourselves. The best way to give them a little nudge in the right direction is setting them up for future success.
I talk about arming kids with tools such as resilience, ownership, and humor to avoid becoming a sludgy troll, lurking within society. As stated above, I harp on the importance of internalizing positive behaviors of fitness and finance in order to truly influence your children. But with the evidence above, Dad’s now have the potential to give their children the most important starting block of all. The foundation of health.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick did all of us Dad’s a service by translating revolutionary health science jargon into something we can use. Dad’s can possibly optimize the health of their children by internalizing and prioritizing exercise. Future dad’s and Men of Dadliness can now engage in a healthy lifestyle for someone other than themselves. After reading these articles, I now feel (even more than before) a strong responsibility to stay healthy and exercise. Not only for my children to have a positive relationship with health, but for my children to be born in good health. Prior to having children, I had no idea my Journey to Dadliness started with the lifestyle choices I made before Bryn was born. My mind is blown!
There is no father that wishes his child is born with a disease or with a predisposition to disease. No father wants his little ones to be cognitively impaired or have sub-optimal brain development. Now that we know we can alter our special sauce for the better, fathers can potentially avoid health defects in our children. How fucking DADLY is that?
Just another innate Dadly Super-Power we posses that can change the fucking world If this doesn’t emphasize the importance of true internalization of exercise, I don’t know what will. Lets prioritize fitness and health; if not for you, for your babies.
Thanks everyone! Thank you to Dr. Rhonda Patrick for enabling fathers and bringing solid and beneficial evidence to the masses. You are amazing.
Lets hear what you all have to say. Love you all. If you like the blog, please subscribe on the homepage!
McGreevy, K. R., Tezanos, P., Ferreiro-Villar, I., Pallé, A., Moreno-Serrano, M., Esteve-Codina, A., … & Montalbán, R. (2019). Intergenerational transmission of the positive effects of physical exercise on brain and cognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(20), 10103-10112.
Denham, J., O’Brien, B. J., Harvey, J. T., & Charchar, F. J. (2015). Genome-wide sperm DNA methylation changes after 3 months of exercise training in humans. Epigenomics, 7(5), 717-731.