We all know that it is very important for women to take folic acid while considering pregnancy. Should men consume the same? Is folic acid relevant for male fertility? Let us see. Folic acid is Vitamin B which is an essential nutrient. It is very important for the human body as it helps make healthy cells. Every men and women have to consume 400mcgs of folic acid every day for healthy well-being. It becomes highly relevant while thinking about pregnancy. Parenthood starts when you started thinking about having a baby. Only a healthy couple gives birth to a healthy child. Supplementing folic acid helps in male fertility and female fertility.
Folic Acid Benefits For Men
Being an essential nutrient that makes and repairs DNA, helps in cell division and cell growth wherever it is needed and contributes to the production of red blood cells, the male body cannot survive without folic acid. A deficiency of folic acid is repeated commonly in males. Folic acid is also crucial for men’s sexual health as well as fertility. Along with boosting sperm count, folic acid plays a vital role in improving sperm health too. Studies also prove that a deficiency of folic acid may lead to erectile dysfunction.
Folic Acid and Male Fertility
Sperm production is an unending process in the male body. It is scientifically proven that the human body produces 1,500 new sperm every single second. Folic acid is an essential nutrient for cell division and DNA synthesis. Even though folic acid deficiency is not very common, a dad-to-be is also advised to supplement folic acid as it improves sperm health and helps the fertilization process happen. It will also contribute to the functioning of the brain and spinal cord of the fetus. The mobility of the sperm determines pregnancy and only a healthy sperm can have suitable mobility for pregnancy.
Supplementation and Sperm Count
Sperm count is a topic of discussion when it comes to pregnancy as it is crucial for pregnancy. According to health experts, semen produced in a single ejaculation must have at least 15 million sperm per milliliter. Variations in sperm count may affect pregnancy as they can be fertilized as expected. Folic acid experiments conducted in men with subfertility were successful and it is believed that supplementing folic acid can increase sperm count. Sperm health includes shape, count per milliliter, and mobility of sperm. Supplementing folic acid, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, and lycopene is considered to be beneficial for sperm health.
Folic Acid and Female Fertility
A mom-to-be should supplement folic acid as it is an essential nutrient that is crucial for fertilization, health, and growth of the fetus. Young women are supposed to consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent deficiency. Women should consume folic acid supplements at least 3 three months before pregnancy to give birth to healthy babies. Folic acid helps in the development of the neural tube, which will turn into the brain and spinal cord. If the mother is deficient in folic acid during the early weeks of pregnancy, the child may have problems with brain and spine development.
It may result in serious neural tubes defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida. In anencephaly, the brain and skull of the baby are not developed completely and it may cause premature death of the newborn. Spina bifida cause severe physical disabilities as the spinal cord is completely developed. Doctors usually suggest folic acid to women who are struggling to get pregnant as it is crucial for female fertility. Folic acid can also prevent miscarriage and inevitable abortions. Folic acid is also recommended for those who are undergoing IVF as it amends the homocysteine pathway.
Foods Rich in Folic Acid
There are science-based guidelines for consuming folic acid by health experts. The human body cannot make Vitamin B9 or folic acid. Being an essential nutrient that contributes to DNA synthesis and cell multiplication, it is necessary for everyone to consume enough folic acid-rich food items or take supplement pills. A well-balanced diet is the best way to follow. Spinach, asparagus, pumpkin, oysters, carrot, okra, broccoli, beef liver, black-eyed peas, and avocados are rich in folic acids. Fortified foods like bread, cereals, corn flour, pasta, rice, and other grain-based foods can also supplement folic acid.
For pregnant women, it is better to consume supplement pills to ensure daily intake. An adult of 14 years and above should consume 400mcg of folic acid a day. Breastfeeding and pregnant women should ensure an intake of 500mcg and 600mcg accordingly. Women expecting pregnancy are also advised to consume pills as needed quality for consumption is 400 to 1000 mcg per day.
Risks of Folic Acid Supplementation
A healthy person can take a maximum of 1000 mcg of folic acid per day. Above the suggested level may cause damage to the cell regeneration system. It is also recommended to test the B-12 level of the patient before starting the supplementation. If there is any emergency while consuming the supplement, you have to inform the health care provider regarding the same as folic acid may interact with other medications.