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18
APR

Folate for Men

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments at 3:45 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Man in Kitchen

There are certain things in certain cabinets you don’t touch. In the bathroom, the tampons, hot wax, makeup and various sprays are hands-off. In the bedroom, you avoid her clothes, and in the kitchen, you stick with the manly vitamins, ignoring the “multivitamins for her”, feminine bottle of . . . something, and folate. But that’s where you are making a mistake, with the folate at least.

Folic acid is not just for women. Yes, it is important for them to take as it protects against spina bifida and other neural tube defects, but the nutrient’s power is not limited to the feminine sphere. Men need it, too, and for similar reasons.

A study of 89 healthy, nonsmoking men found that those who consumed the most folic acid, whether through supplements or diet, had 20 to 30 percent fewer abnormal sperm. Specifically, the frequency of aneuploidy, a condition in which the sperm either loses or gains a chromosome, was reduced. For these men and their partners then, conception and a successful pregnancy were more likely while chromosomal disorders such as Down’s Syndrome were less so.

If you’ve been ignoring folate, stop. You should be getting 400 micrograms a day unless you’re trying to have a baby; then, you should be getting more. Eat a variety of leafy greens, ensure that your cereals and breads are fortified, and grab a supplement – not hers, buy your own. This is one vitamin that is most definitely not just for her.

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