Dads-to-be need folic acid too

March 21, 2008 2:15:30 PM PDT
When it comes to babies' health, Dad's diet may be just as important as Mom's.

A new study shows it's not just women who need to boost their intake of folic acid before pregnancy. Guys may really need it too.

The study found men with lower levels of the B-vitamin were more at risk for sperm that contain either too many or too few chromosomes. And that can lead to birth defects and miscarriages.

The benefits of folic acid for women are well-documented. And while this study doesn't conclusively prove the same is true for men, it does give more proof that good nutrition for everyone, can lead to healthier babies.

Folate is one of the B vitamins, and is found in leafy gree vegetables, fruit and beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Breads and cereals sold in the United States are also now specially fortified with folate, to ward off birth defects.