Parents Exercise Affects Metabolic Health in Offspring

Maternal and paternal exercise are well-established to improve the metabolic health of adult offspring. Tissue and serum metabolites play a fundamental role in the health of an organism, but how parental exercise affects offspring tissue and serum metabolites has not yet been investigated.

Metabolites are substances made or used when the body breaks down food, drugs or chemicals, or its own fat or muscle tissue. This process, called metabolism, makes energy and the materials needed for growth, reproduction and maintaining health. Metabolites can serve as disease markers, particularly for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A mouse study provides new ways to determine how maternal and paternal exercise improve metabolic health of offspring.

This new data contributes to how maternal or paternal exercise could improve metabolism in offspring. Other studies have linked development of type 2 diabetes and impaired metabolic health to the parents’ poor diet. In this study, researchers investigated the beneficial effects of parental exercise training in the presence of high-fat feeding on offspring metabolic health.

They used targeted metabolomics, the study of metabolites, to determine the impact of maternal exercise, paternal exercise, and the combination of maternal and paternal exercise on the metabolite profile in offspring liver, skeletal muscle and blood serum levels.

This study found that all forms of parental exercise improved whole-body glucose metabolism in offspring as adults, and metabolomics profiling of offspring serum, muscle, and liver reveal that parental exercise results in extensive effects across all classes of metabolites in all of these offspring tissues.

Any insight into how these tissue metabolites could be regulated could help us understand how tissue metabolism works and offer some ideas to benefit or improve tissue glucose or fatty acid metabolism. This could eventually lead to developing new therapeutic tools or targets to improve metabolism.


Diego Hernández-Saavedra, Christina Markunas, Hirokazu Takahashi, Lisa A. Baer, Johan E. Harris, Michael F. Hirshman, Olga Ilkayeva, Christopher B. Newgard, Kristin I. Stanford, Laurie J. Goodyear. Maternal Exercise and Paternal Exercise Induce Distinct Metabolite Signatures in Offspring Tissues. Diabetes.  Retrieved from : 


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