Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First study to investigate the effect of father’s diet on chromosomal abnormalities in sperm reveals link with folate ...

20.03.2008
... - a vitamin B

Researchers have found an association between a vitamin found in leafy green vegetables, fruit and pulses [1] and levels of chromosomal abnormalities in men’s sperm. Men who consumed high levels of folate (a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food) and folic acid (the synthetic form of the vitamin) tended to have lower levels of abnormal sperm where a chromosome had been lost or gained (known as aneuploidy).

Writing in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal, Human Reproduction, today (Thursday 20 March), the authors say estimates suggest that between 1-4% of sperm in a healthy man have some type of aneuploidy, but there are large variations among individuals, the mechanisms are poorly understood and little is known about the effects of men’s diet on their sperm. [2]

In the first study of its kind to investigate the relationship between sperm aneuploidy and paternal diet, they analysed sperm samples from 89 healthy, non-smoking men and questioned them about their daily total intake (from diet and from vitamin supplements) of zinc, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.

One of the principal investigators of the study, Brenda Eskenazi, Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA, said: “We found a statistically significant association between high folate intake and lower sperm aneuploidy: there was increasing benefit with increasing intake, and men in the upper 25th percentile who had the highest intake of folate between 722-1150 micrograms, had 20-30% lower frequencies of several types of aneuploidy compared with men with a lower intake.

“However, this study cannot prove that high folate intake caused the lower sperm aneuploidy levels, only that there is an association. This is the first study of its kind and the results indicate the need for further research, especially a randomised controlled trial, on this topic.”

The researchers found no consistent associations between intakes of zinc and the other vitamins and sperm aneuploidy.

Prof Eskenazi said: “While the importance of maternal diet on reproduction, especially folate intake, is well known, the results of our study suggest the importance of studying paternal nutrition when considering male-mediated developmental consequences. In previous studies, we and others have shown that paternal micronutrient intake may contribute to successful conceptions by improving the quality of the sperm. This study is the first to suggest that paternal diet may play a role after conception in the development of healthy offspring.” [3]

The current recommended daily intake (RDA) for men aged over 19 is 400 micrograms, and the authors say that if other studies confirm their findings of the link between folate intake and aneuploidy, then a possible intervention would be to increase the RDA for men considering becoming fathers for at least three months before trying to conceive in order to reduce the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in their children.

Ms Suzanne Young, a researcher in Prof Eskenazi’s group and the study co-ordinator, said: “Increasing folate intake can be as simple as taking a vitamin supplement with at least 400 micrograms of folate or eating breakfast cereal fortified with 100% of the RDA for folic acid. In addition, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, can have up to 100 micrograms of folate per serving.”

Disentangling the effects of folate from other micronutrients (e.g. the other vitamins) can be difficult, but the authors think they have succeeded in doing this by looking at several different nutrients in statistical analyses. Ms Young said: “The results of the different analyses were different, which gave us some confidence that we could look at the effect of these micronutrients separately. The definitive way to answer this question would be with a randomised control trial with folate supplementation.”

[1] Pulses include foods such as beans, chickpeas and lentils.
[2] The association of folate, zinc and antioxidant intake with sperm aneuploidy in healthy non-smoking men. Doi:10.1093/humrep/den036

[3] Sperm aneuploidy can have a number of consequences ranging from failure to conceive, miscarriages or children born with conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome and Klinefelter’s syndrome.

Emma Mason | alfa
Further information:
http://www.oxfordjournals.org/eshre

Further reports about: Vitamin abnormalities aneuploidy chromosomal folate intake micronutrient paternal sperm

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>