Navigation Links
Low Folate Levels May Harm Sperm
Date:3/19/2008

Prospective dads might want to up their intake of the nutrient, study suggests

WEDNESDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- The benefits of folate for women in preventing birth defects are well known, but new research suggests the nutrient also boosts sperm health.

Men with relatively low levels of folate had increased risks for sperm containing either too few or too many chromosomes, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. These types of deficiencies can cause birth defects and miscarriages, the experts noted.

Folate is one of the B vitamins and is found in leafy green vegetables, fruit and beans, chickpeas and lentils. By law, breads and grains sold in the United States are also now specially fortified with added folate to help ward off birth defects.

"We looked at sperm to find different kinds of genetic abnormalities," said lead researcher Brenda Eskenazi, a professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology and director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health at Berkeley's School of Public Health. "The abnormalities we looked at here were having too few or too many chromosomes," she said.

Normally, human sperm have 23 pairs of chromosomes. "In sperm you normally have one of each, but sometimes there are two and sometimes there are none of a particular chromosome," Eskenazi said.

If a normal egg was fertilized with one of these abnormal sperm, it could result in a birth defect, such as Down's syndrome, Eskenazi said. "This can also result in an increase in miscarriage," she said.

The researchers looked at three specific chromosomes: X, Y and 21. "We saw an association between [male] folate intake and how many abnormal sperm there were, in terms of the chromosome number for these three different chromosomes," Eskenazi said.

The study findings are published in the March 20 issue of the journal Human Reproduction.

In the study, Eskenazi's group analyzed sperm from 89 healthy men. In addition, the researchers asked the men about their daily consumption of zinc, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.

The researchers found that men who had the highest intake of folate had the lowest incidence of sperm abnormalities. In fact, men who had the highest intake of folate -- 722 to 1,150 micrograms a day -- had a 20 percent to 30 percent lower frequency of several types of sperm abnormalities, compared with men who consumed less folate.

Up till now, birth-defect researchers have typically focused on women's diet in the period around conception, Eskenazi said. "Based on these data, maybe men, too, need to consider their diet when they are considering fathering a child," she said.

Although this study doesn't conclusively prove a link between folate and chromosomal abnormality, Eskenazi advises men who are thinking of becoming fathers to increase their folate intake, perhaps with a supplement or a multivitamin containing folate.

This isn't the first study to find a link between diet and sperm health. A report published last year in Human Reproduction found that women who ate beef seven or more times per week tended to produce sons with lowered sperm counts, perhaps due to the effects of hormones or pesticides on developing testes.

One expert agrees that healthy eating is linked to having healthy babies -- even for men.

"This is another common-sense article that says good nutrition is associated with a better reproductive outcome," said Dr. Jamie Grifo, director of reproductive endocrinology at New York University Medical Center.

Grifo noted that rates of abnormal sperm seen in the Berkeley study were four to six per 1,000, which means that men with poor nutrition still had more than 99 percent normal sperm.

"Even though this may be the case, don't smoke, drink modestly, eat healthy unprocessed food and take your vitamins," Grifo advised prospective fathers.

More information

For more on infertility, visit the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.



SOURCES: Brenda Eskenazi, Ph.D., professor, maternal and child health and epidemiology, director of the Center for Children's Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; Jamie Grifo, M.D., Ph.D., director of reproductive endocrinology, New York University Medical Center, New York City; March 20, 2008, Human Reproduction


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Adult offspring of parents with PTSD have lower cortisol levels
2. Study Demonstrates Marteks Algal DHA Oil Improves Blood Triglyceride Lipid Levels
3. Screening Proposed for Childhood Cholesterol Levels
4. Womens Folic Acid Levels Improving
5. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
6. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
7. School, family and community involvement are all needed to increase the activity levels of adolescen
8. High HDL Levels Protect Heart Health
9. Meta-Analysis of Blood Phe Levels and Clinical Outcomes in PKU Published
10. Data Show Vaprisol(R) Is Effective & Safe in Promptly Increasing Serum Sodium Levels in Patients With Euvolemic or Hypervolemic Hyponatremia
11. Impact of elevated homocysteine levels on vision under study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Low Folate Levels May Harm Sperm
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery ... of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , ... for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 ... dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery ... are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA ... the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer ... ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® ... Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and ... Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 According to a ... (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, ... Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & ... studies the market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today ... its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest ... possible value to their clients by offering a ... preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform ... MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released ... failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug ... only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: