Women trying to conceive have been taking folic acid pills or pre-pregnancy multivitamins every day for as long as we can remember, safe in the knowledge that they are preparing their bodies to create a baby. But how crucial is folic acid for men who are attempting to conceive?
Women who are trying to conceive and in their first trimester of pregnancy should take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. While a healthy and balanced diet should give men enough folic acid, studies have shown that supplementing with folic acid can help men create higher-quality sperm.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is used to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida and is widely considered to be an important component in the development of healthy newborns. However, many of us were unaware that folic acid can also be beneficial to future fathers.
Folate is a B-vitamin that is necessary for good health throughout your life. Folic acid is the synthetic version. This vitamin aids in the metabolism of cells and the formation of new ones in the body.
This vitamin is very necessary for pregnant women, as well as women of childbearing age who do not intend to become pregnant. If a woman of childbearing age becomes pregnant, she is advised to consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This is because folic acid is essential throughout the initial few weeks of a fetus' development, frequently before the woman even realizes she's pregnant.
Do men need folic acid to increase fertility?
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is necessary for the proper synthesis of new cells, which is necessary for the birth of a child. When found naturally in foods, folic acid is the man-made version of vitamin B9, which is known as folate. Because our systems can't store folic acid or folate, it's recommended that we ingest it every day.
While a balanced diet should provide men with all of the folic acids they require, research suggests that high amounts of the nutrient in a man's diet can contribute to higher-quality sperm, which in turn leads to fewer birth problems. 'Men who had lower levels of folic acid in their diet had a higher rate of abnormal chromosomes in their sperm,' according to a study from the University of California at Berkeley.
It's always feasible to change your diet to include more folic acid-rich foods, and most men are believed to be getting the recommended 200mcg of folic acid from a well-balanced diet. Mums-to-be are accustomed to scrutinizing food labels to find goods that claim to provide their recommended dietary amount of folic acid.