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“You are what you eat”

by | Published on 9. May 2014, in Science.
ivf_kinderwunsch_mann_paternaler effekt_ernährung
Icon Image | Photo: Shutterstock

Due to modern reproductive medicine which is aimed at identifying in detail the reasons for involuntary childlessness, the so-called “paternal effect” increasingly becomes the focus of research attention.
This also holds true for the IVF Centers Prof. Zech, where the focus is placed on the medical evaluation of clinical findings of both partners in a couple as well as on a treatment tailored to their individual needs so as to provide them with the best chances to conceive a healthy child – if possible as early as the first treatment cycle.

From today’s perspective, we can assume that men can significantly contribute to a successful pregnancy outcome by a healthy diet, in which the optimal balance of vitamins, in particular with regard to folic acid is of the uttermost importance.

Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin that plays a crucial role in supporting many body functions. Folic acid naturally occurs in yeast, liver and some vegetables such as spinach or broccoli. However, it is not easy to ensure a sufficient intake of folic acid from dietary sources.

An adequate supply with micronutrients as a preventive measure

Specific lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or unhealthy diets may negatively impact sperm quality. This was demonstrated by several scientific papers, among others, one by the IVF Centers Prof. Zech which was published by the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (RB&E) in 2012.
Thus, the success of an IVF treatment goes hand in hand with the patients’ healthy lifestyle choices. Numerous studies at the IVF Centers Prof. Zech have confirmed the importance of supplying the organism adequately with micronutrients such as vitamins (e.g. folate, vitamins C, E) or antioxidants.
Dietary supplements may give your body optimal support (you can learn more about it in one of our next blog posts).

“Paternal effect” and micronutrients – an example from the animal kingdom

According to a recent study by Romain Lambrot of the department of Animal Science at McGill University in Québec, Canada, it could be demonstrated through investigations on mice that a low folate diet of the male mice resulted in significantly lower pregnancy rates. Moreover, mice whose fathers were fed a folic acid deficient diet showed more health impairments than mouse offspring whose fathers were adequately supplied with folate.

In conclusion, even though the aforementioned “paternal effect” is still a subject of controversial discussion, a growing number of studies suggest that, in fact, there is such thing as the “paternal effect” whose impact might even lead to epigenetic alterations.

→ more articles concerning this topic in the Special »What men should know about fertility, sperm quality and IVF«

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