Folic acid is an essential component needed to prevent various congenital malfunctions including neural tube defects which may occur prior to birth. While mom hopefuls and moms-to-be are required to increase their folic acid intake, latest research suggests that even men need folic acid.
Surprised? Read on to find out how folic acid can affect men’s fertility – in a good way.
Quick facts about folic acid
Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B9 vitamin that helps your body produce and maintain new cells. Without folate, there would be issues with cell division and your body will not be able to produce red blood cells and DNA which is essential in making babies.
Folic acid and male fertility
Research and studies conducted
Folic acid is often associated with pregnant women and mommy wannabes. They are even advised to buy Endometrin to prepare the lining of the uterus. However, various researches say that this nutrient is essential for men’s sperm health. A study was conducted by researchers from Berkeley and US Department of Agriculture’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center and they found out that there is a higher concentration of folic acid in a man’s semen.
Another study was conducted by Dr. Wai Yee Wong from Netherlands on 103 men with fertility problems. After they were given folic acid and zinc supplements for 26 weeks, the participants showed a 74% increase in the number of normal sperm.
On the other hand, increasing folic acid intake is not confined to men with fertility problems. There is a condition called sperm aneuploidy wherein the sperm cells have either missing or extra chromosomes. Believe it or not, even healthy men can have this type of condition and unless it is corrected, it can result to failure to conceive or the child will suffer from certain conditions such as Down’s syndrome.
Based on a study made by Professor Brenda Eskenazi, also from Berkeley, increase in folate intake can reduce the levels of aneuploidy in men. Since the study was first of its kind, Eskenazi and her team recommended further investigation.
Increasing folic acid intake
Given these benefits and the various studies conducted to prove the claim, it is safe to say that folic acid has a positive effect on sperm health and male fertility as a whole. However, taking high doses is not recommended because it might reverse the effects. Hence, the FDA advised up to 400 micrograms of this vitamin.
To get adequate amount of folate, here’s what you can do:
• Eat foods with sperm building nutrients. This includes leafy green vegetables, fruits, beans, beets, chickpeas and breads.
• Quit smoking.It decreases the levels of folic acid you get from food, plus it’s not good for your health too.
• Take it easy on alcohol. Folate is stored in the liver which means that when alcohol is present, it can mess up your body’s folate absorption and increases the excretion of the vitamin from your body.
• Take folic acid supplements. They can be a good source of folic acid however, you shouldn’t rely on it completely. From the term itself, it is merely a supplement which means it only supplies when your body doesn’t receive enough folate.
To sum it up, the higher the quality of a man’s sperm, the lower the chances of chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to birth defects. Don’t deprive yourself with folate. After all, all parent hopefuls wish for a healthy baby.
About the Author:
Andy Bell is a health enthusiast & loves writing about health topics. He likes writing on topics like various medicines and meditations that can be used for fertility and infertility in men and women. Through Isrameds he provides information about various medicines which will help everyone to solve common problems related to fertility and infertility.