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article imageCanadian research finds diet of Dad contributes to baby's health

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 10, 2013 in Science
Research published out of Montreal's McGill University found the diet of the father, like that of mom, may play a big role in a healthy baby. For mothers the previous research looked at sufficient Vitamin B folate;that appears also true for dads.
Using mice, researchers found that before impregnating a female, male mice that were provided high dietary folate had their partners produce healthier babies than mice dads on a low-folate diet.
High folate leads to less birth defects
Female mice who had offspring with low-folate mice were likely to have children with more birth defects than high-folate fathers.
“Despite the fact that folic acid is now added to a variety of foods, fathers who are eating high-fat, fast-food diets or who are obese may not be able to use or metabolize folate in the same way as those with adequate levels of the vitamin,” lead researcher Sarah Kimmins said of the results.
The numbers were significant, with low-folate fathers producing babies who had a 30 percent higher risk of birth-defects, some of them severe. The researchers say that like smoking affecting a man's sperm when reproducing, diet may also.
“Our research suggests that fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, what they smoke and what they drink," Kimmins said. "And remember they are caretakers of generations to come."
Kimmins will next work with fertility clinics to specifically study the male human, diet and reproduction.
More about highfolate diets, Reproduction, sperm health, Mcgill university, research in reproduction
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