Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Dad ate may affect babies--in mice, anyhow

We have all heard the advice to women wanting to get pregnant--eat leafy greens for folate acid, stop smoking, stop drinking, and so on.

But what about the father?  Researchers at McGill University are finding that what the male eats before conception plays a role in the development and health of the baby. So far, this is proving out in mice.

For one thing, the father's folate levels figure in and may be just as vital as the mother's.

Folic acid is now added to foods, but the father's obesity and high-fat diets may influence how folic acid is metabolized.

At least this is true in mice. In the test rodents, a lack of folate from the male resulted in a 30% increase in birth defects.

Now the research focus is switching to humans. "Fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, smoke, and drink," one scientist said.

Sooo...more salads, more cereal, fruits and meats--and fewer Whoppers?

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