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 A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>