In the old day, it suggested that women of childbearing age are advised to consume plenty of folate, through supplements, as well as various fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
The new study by Canadian researchers however has discovered that women are not the only ones who should consume plenty of folate in the leading-up to pregnancy. Men should also increase their folate intakes.
McGill University researchers studied the offspring of male mice who had been fed plenty of Folate with those who didn't.
According to Dr. Romain Lambort (a reproductive biologist), head of the researchers at McGill University in Canada said "There was an almost 30% increase in Birth Defects in offspring sired by fathers whose levels of folate were insufficient".
The researchers admit it's too early to assume the same would be true for humans, however said there is growing evidence that men's health plays a big part in their offspring's health.
What is Folate?
Folate (or Folic Acid) is a B-group Vitamin that is essential for healthy foetal development. Folate can prevent neural tude defects, including spina bifida, if it is taken before conception and early in pregnancy. All women of child-bearing shall take extra folate as around half of all pregnancies are planned.
The benefit of Folate
According to Moira O'Bryan, a professor of reproductive biology at Monash University, (at the interview with ninemsn) that:-
Folate helps regulate the system that programs our cells to work effectively.
"If you don't have enough folate, you can't lay down the correct software,".
"Folate is important in all cells, but sperm cells are particularly sensitive to a lack of folate".
"It's crucial that men have enough folate so they have good sperm and healthy children".
"Men should load up on folate before they have children, but they should load up on folate all the time,".
Source : ninemsn Health & Wellbeing
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Source: Time Author: Kimberly Gillan; Approving editor: Rory Kinsella