Most of the things we inherit from our parents are obvious, like our eye color and body type. But here are some not-so-obvious things we get from Mom and Dad, according to the latest genetic research:

  • Our fear of the dentist. A new study from the University of Madrid shows that we probably got that from our Dad’s side of the family. Because statistics show that people are twice as likely to avoid the dentist if their Dad has a fear of going to the dentist, compared to if their Mom doesn’t like going.
  • Our mental health. According to a new Stanford University study, a gene called “5-H-T-T” stops certain people from producing all of the brain chemicals involved with regulating our mood. And people who have two copies of this gene – passed down from each of their parents – have a much higher risk for depression. The good news? Experts say only half of our depression risk comes from our parents. Meaning, even if both your Mom and Dad suffered from depression, you can still overcome the risk by making positive lifestyle choices.
  • The same goes for our athletic ability. Because muscle strength is 50% hereditary. Experts say that could be good news if your parents were star athletes, because it means you’ll have a head start following in their footsteps. But even if your parents are couch potatoes – who can barely lift a remote – you can make up for it by hitting the gym.

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