Can happiness be inherited?

May 14, 2009

A new article published in Elsevier's journal Bioscience Hypotheses suggests that our feelings in our lifetime can affect our children.

Dr. Halabe Bucay suggests that a wide range of chemicals that our brain generates when we are in different moods could affect 'germ cells' (eggs and sperm), the cells that ultimately produce the next generation. Such natural chemicals could affect the way that specific are expressed in the , and hence how a child develops.

In his article in the latest issue of Bioscience Hypotheses, Dr Alberto Halabe Bucay of Research Center Halabe and Darwich, Mexico, suggested that the hormones and chemicals resulting from happiness, depression and other mental states can affect our eggs and sperm, resulting in lasting changes in our children at the time of their conception.

Brain chemicals such as endorphins, and drugs, such as marijuana and heroin are known to have significant effects on sperm and eggs, altering the patterns of genes that are active in them.

"It is well known, of course, that parental behavior affects children, and that the genes that a child gets from its parents help shape that child's character." said Dr. Halabe Bucay. "My paper suggests a way that the parent's psychology before conception can actually affect the child's genes."

"This is an intriguing idea" commented Dr. William Bains, Editor of Bioscience Hypotheses. "We wanted to publish it to see what other scientists thought, and whether others had data that could support or disprove it. That is what our journal is for, to stimulate debate about new ideas, the more groundbreaking, the better."

More information: "Endorphins, personality, and inheritance: Establishing the biochemical bases of ", Bioscience , In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 7 May 2009, Alberto Halabe Bucay. doi:10.1016/j.bihy.2009.03.003

Source: Elsevier

Explore further: Egg-like cells obtained in pig fetal skin

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not rated yet May 14, 2009
Very interesting... quite along the lines I have been thinking for some time.

One of the subjects I am working (amateurishly) on is perceived differences in siblings. How the mother's emotional and physical wellbeing affects the development in the womb.

I am adamant that women who study while pregnant (especially in early stages) actually boost the IQ of their unborn. Now, I haven't taken into account the actual state of mind and chemicals that will dump into the system, so there is still a lot to add to the theory.

Generalising now, but I feel that older siblings end up with higher IQ and I suspect most of the time it has to do with following factors;
- 1st kid - mother usually overjoyed producing all the good stuff in the brain and transferring to the fetus.
- 2nd kid - mom usually stressed like hell looking after the 1st kid, poss. working and is well aware how the pregnancy will pan out and all the stresses there, producing all the nasty chemicals and very low "happiness factor".

.... corrrr too much thinking now... great article

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