Men’s sperm count can be affected by folate

By Lauren Edwards • Published: June 26th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Women are typically the ones encouraged to eat right, exercise and take their vitamins in order to ensure a healthy child.

Women considering pregnancy are especially advised to get a healthy dose of folate, a B vitamin that wards off birth defects in their babies. But the health of the men, who provide the sperm necessary for pregnancy, isn’t often thought of as so important. A recent study, however, could change all that. The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, found that men who consume low levels of folate were more likely to produce sperm that contained too many or too few chromosomes, which can lead to birth defects and miscarriages. Folate can be found in beans, leafy green veggies and fruit,

The study, which evaluated eighty-nine men in good health, found that those who consumed the greatest amount of folate had a twenty to thirty percent lower frequency of various sperm abnormalities than those men whose folate intake was lower. Researchers say that these findings show how men… as well as women… need to pay attention to their diets when they are thinking about having a child.

They advise men to take a supplement or multivitamin containing folate to increase their chances of having a healthy baby. They also advise an overall lifestyle characterized by moderation. That includes eating fresh, unprocessed foods, drinking sensibly, avoiding cigarettes and taking those vitamins.

Remember: having a healthy child takes two!