Men: What Can Folic Acid Do For You? Alot!

Published July 3, 2008

Posted July 3, 2008 – So, you're a couple trying to have a baby. It’s nothing new that it takes two to make a baby, but what you might not know, men, is that to strengthen your contribution there’s something simple you can do: get more folic acid.

There's more and more proof that men need folic acid almost as much as expectant  moms. That's right! New research also shows that men who have a folic acid deficiency could notice a 90 percent reduction in their sperm count.

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On the other hand, men who took folic acid supplements and who ate folate-rich foods such as leafy greens had fewer abnormal sperm and were able to increase their sperm count, a team or researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, said earlier this year.

And, if men suffering with partial infertility take folic acid, they reportedly not only increase the quantity, but the quality of their sperm.

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins, it is also known as folate when found naturally in foods, some of which you may already eat. Folic acid is added to many breakfast cereals (e.g. Kellogg's corn flakes™)and breads to fortify them.

Look on the outside of packets for the nutritional chart or the 'contains folic acid' symbol.

Foods that are high in folate include: -

  • Fruits particularly kiwi fruit and papaya.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, cabbage, asparagus and parsnips.
  • Cooked kidney and liver (pregnant women should avoid liver).
  • Be careful not to overcook vegetables as this can destroy the folate, you should also try to eat vegetables raw or steamed.

Foods that contain good sources of folate include:

  • Oranges (including orange juice)
  • Tinned baked beans
  • Lettuce, peas and cauliflower 
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Wholemeal and white bread (usually fortified with folic acid).
  • Large jacket potato

There are also folic acid supplements available if you don't tend to eat any of the foods listed above on a regular basis. Supplements should only be taken if your diet is deficient. The recommended daily allowance for folic acid is 400 micrograms. If you are pregnant a folic acid supplement is recommended.

How can I increase my intake of folic acid?
You can get folic acid by increasing your intake of the foods mentioned above, you probably already have an intake of 200micrograms from normal healthy eating. Green leafy vegetables and certain cereals (check the packages for details) contain the highest source of folic acid (more than 100micrograms per serving).

There’s more on the link between sperm count and folic acid at medicinnet.com.

Written by BET-Staff

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