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Male Fertility Q&A: Do Men Need Folic Acid?

Male Fertility Q&A: Do Men Need Folic Acid?

 Male Fertility Q&A: Do Men Need Folic Acid?Guys listen up! Your sperm carries 50% of the DNA of your future child. Healthy sperm not only have proper DNA structure, but are higher in number, healthier in size and shape, and abundant in strength and stamina, so they can easily swim to fertilize an egg.

It might be hard to sit here and think about your DNA creating your son or daughter. What’s not hard is to ensure your son or daughter get the best of your DNA. One way to do this is to consume adequate amounts of Folic Acid. Folic Acid isn’t just a woman’s vitamin, men should consider taking it too.

If you’re wondering why, the answer is because Folic acid is a B vitamin that the body uses to make new, healthy cells. Sperm are cells that carry your DNA. Folic acid is necessary in order to produce DNA and works to repair cells damaged by oxidative stress.

The Question: Should men also take folic acid?

The Answer: Yes! Men wishing to increase sperm quality should consider consuming folic acid or folate. In fact, both fertile men and those with male-factor infertility should.

Helping the body create healthier sperm lowers the chances of producing abnormal sperm. Abnormal sperm are cells with chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to male infertility, miscarriage, and babies born with birth defects.

In 2008, a study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Human Reproduction that showed “a link between high levels of the nutrient [folic acid] in men’s diets and the genetic quality of their sperm.” Concrete conclusions were not made in that study, but several other articles cite studies concluding that consuming folic acid (over 700 mcg a day) lowers the risk of producing sperm with abnormalities by 20 to 30 percent, including the abnormality called aneuploidy*. Studies also show that the normal sperm count is most likely to increase in men taking folic acid with zinc.

In order to increase sperm health and quality, guys, it is important to commit to reducing your exposure to oxidative stress and eating a Male Fertility Diet filled with:

  • folate-rich foods like dark leafy greens, asparagus, citrus fruit, beans, and lentils
  • antioxidants like vitamins E and C, B12, and Folic Acid
  • micronutrients, specifically L-Carnitine, Zinc, Selenium, CoQ10 Ubiquinol

Not all of these nutrients are readily available to the body through food. So, consider supplementing with a whole food men’s multivitamin and/or herbs and nutritional supplements to support normal sperm health.

I know a radical diet change may not happen overnight. Lifestyle change isn’t always realistic, especially when one’s job repeatedly exposes them to oxidative stress. In order to start offering your body and sperm the nutrients they need to become healthier, we have combined important herbs and nutritional supplements in a kit for men. To see them, click here…

We have also combined important research on the best natural treatment options for male fertility in our Male Fertility Resources guide.

Consider working one on one with a Fertility Herbalist through a Fertility Consultation if you are overwhelmed and/or you aren’t sure what might be best for your specific fertility health needs. This personalized guidance will point you in the right direction toward becoming a father.

* /an·eu·ploi·dy/ (an″u-ploi´de) is when there are an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell which can lead to miscarriage and birth defects in a child.

References

  • Young, S., Eskenazi, B., Marchetti, F., Block, G., & Wyrobek, A. (2008). The association of folate, zinc and antioxidant intake with sperm aneuploidy in healthy non-smoking men. Human Reproduction, 23(5), 1014-1022. doi:10.1093/humrep/den036 Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/23/5/1014/646098

Elizabeth Willett - M.A., Certified Herbalist

Elizabeth Willett is the Senior Herbalist and Lead Educator at NaturalFertilityInfo.com. She holds a BS in Mass Communications (2000) from Minnesota State University, and a Master of Arts degree (MA, 2010) in Holistic Health Studies with a specialization is herbalism from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. Liz has written over 200 articles on women’s fertility and brings a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise in holistic health and healing to Natural Fertility Info.com

Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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