If you’re planning to get pregnant, you need to take the right vitamins and minerals. Both men and women need to know how vitamin B9 (folate) affects your pregnancy – it’s more important than you think!
Are you getting enough vitamin B9 in your diet? If not, look into Doctor’s Best Best Fully Active Vitamin B9 Folate. It’s a natural supplement that is helpful for women and men who are planning to get pregnant.
Here’s a summary of a research study that focused on how vitamin B9 (folate) affects getting pregnant and the unborn baby. If you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s important to pay attention to your man’s diet. Vitamin B9 is especially important to the your baby’s health.
“Our research suggests that fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, what they smoke and what they drink and remember they are caretakers of generations to come,” says McGill researcher Sarah Kimmins. “If all goes as we hope, our next step will be to work with collaborators at a fertility clinic so that we can start assessing the links in men between diet, being overweight and how this information relates to the health of their children.”
At the end of this article is a list of foods rich in vitamin B9. If you’re planning to get pregnant, take this list with you to the grocery store!
Vitamin B9 (Folate) and Getting Pregnant
This study was conducted by McGill University, and it suggests that a father’s diet before conception plays a crucial role in the health of his baby. And, this study raises concerns about the long-term effects of current Western diets and of food insecurity.
The research focused on vitamin B9 and conceiving a baby
Vitamin B9 is found in a range of green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruit and meats. It is well known that in order to prevent miscarriages and birth defects, women who are planning to get pregnant need to get adequate amounts of vitamin B9 or folate in their diet. Are men getting enough vitamin B9, and how does it affect pregnancy? The way that a father’s diet can influence the health and development of their offspring has received almost no attention.
The father’s folate levels may be just as important to the development and health of their offspring as are those of the mother. Indeed, the study suggests that fathers should pay as much attention to their lifestyle and diet before they set out to conceive a child as mothers do.
If you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s important for both men and women pay attention to what they eat. Read Fertility Diet – Natural Foods That Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.
Folate Deficiency is Bad for Your Baby
A deficiency in vitamin B9 in men can be bad for unborn babies.
“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,” says Kimmins. “People who live in the Canadian North or in other parts of the world where there is food insecurity may also be particularly at risk for folate deficiency. And we now know that this information will be passed on from the father to the embryo with consequences that may be quite serious.”
How does a vitamin B9 deficiency affect your attempts to get pregnant?
“We were very surprised to see that there was an almost 30 per cent increase in birth defects in the litters sired by fathers whose levels of folates were insufficient,” said Dr. Romain Lambrot, of McGill’s Dept. of Animal Science. “We saw some pretty severe skeletal abnormalities that included both cranio-facial and spinal deformities.”
This research shows the importance of adequate vitamin B9 levels when you’re planning to get pregnant. To learn more about vitamins and minerals, read Vitamins and Nutrients to Increase Fertility.
The scientific details of folate, sperm, and getting pregnant
There are regions of the sperm epigenome that are sensitive to life experience – and particularly to diet – which is why vitamin B9 affects pregnancy. This information is in turn transferred to a so-called “epigenomic map” that influences development and may also influence metabolism and disease in babies. The epigenome is like a switch, which is affected by environmental cues, and is involved in many diseases. The epigenome influences the way genes are turned on or off, and how genetic information gets passed along.
A man’s sperm carries a memory of the father’s environment, and possibly even of his diet and lifestyle choices.
Sources of Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Romaine Lettuce, Asparagus, Broccoli)
- Citrus Fruits (Papaya, Oranges, Grapefruit, Strawberries, Raspberries)
- Beans, Peas and Lentils (Pinto Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Black Beans, Navy Beans, Kidney Beans, Lima Beans, Split Peas, Green Peas, Green Beans)
- Seeds and Nuts (Sunflower Seeds, Peanuts, Flax Seeds, Almonds)
- Brussels Sprouts
For more information on improving sperm health for couples planning to get pregnant, read 5 Foods to Improve Your Sperm Count and Health.
Here’s the full article about vitamin B9 in men and getting pregnant: Low paternal dietary folate alters the mouse sperm epigenome and is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes by R. Lambrot, C.Xu, S. Saint-Phar, G. Chountalos, T. Cohen, M. Paquet, M. Suderman, M. Hallett, and S. Kimmins in Nature Communications.