CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Missing Title

ByKylie McConville|Updated October 28, 2016
save article
Hero Image

A new study led by Sarah Kimmins from McGill University found that your daddy-to-be’s diet before conception may play just as big a role in baby’s development as a woman’s does. Yep! You heard that correctly, dudes, so pass on the fully loaded cheese fries, will ya?

The research, which focused on the vitamin B9 (also known as folate and can be found in green leafy veggies, fruits, cereals and meats). Before conception, moms are encouraged to eat extra folate to prevent miscarriages and birth defects in baby — but dads often get a free pass. Not anymore! Researchers worked with mice and compared the offspring of fathers with insufficient folate in the diets to fathers with sufficient folate levels. Through their course of study, they found that paternal folate deficiency was associated with an increase in birth defects of various kinds in the offspring, compared to the offspring of mice whose fathers were fed with a diet sufficient in folate.

Just how extreme were the deficiencies? One of the researchers who worked on the study, Dr. Romain Lambrot , said, “We were very surprised to see that there was an almost 30 per increase in birth defects in the litters sired by fathers whose levels of folates were insufficient. We saw some pretty severe skeletal abnormalities that included both cranio-facial and spinal deformities.”

Led by Kimmins, researchers were able to discover that, for the first time, a father’s folate levels may be just as important to the development and health of their offspring as are those of the mother. She said, “Despite the fact that folic acid is now added to a variety of foods, fathers who are eating high-fat, fast food diets or who are obese may not be able to use or metabolize folate in the same way as those with adequate levels of the vitamin. People who live in the Canadian North or in other parts of the world where there is food insecurity may also be particularly at risk for folate deficiency. And we now know that this information will be passed on from the father to the embryo with consequences that may be quite serious.”

Related Video

So, what should future dads do? Watch what they eat, says Kimmins, and pay more attention to the folate they’re taking in. She adds, “Our research suggests that fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, what they smoke and what they drink and remember they are caretakers of generations to come.” And further research will help support the current findings, “If all goes as we hope,” she says, “our next step will be to work with collaborators at a fertility clinic so that we can start assessing the links in men between diet, being overweight and how this information relates to the health of their children.”

And there you have it, folks. Proof that a dad’s job is never done (and never done too early!).

Do you think men’s diet choices are just as important as a woman’s when it comes to conception?

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

young pregnant couple hugging at home
8 Romantic Ideas for Date Night Before Baby Arrives
By Nehal Aggarwal
Q&A: Husband Doesn't Like Pregnancy Belly?
Q&A: Husband Doesn't Like Pregnancy Belly?
By Dr. Pam Spurr
bindi irwin and husband expecting a baby
Pregnant Bindi Irwin Shares Pregnancy Update and Sonogram Picture
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
new dad holding his newborn baby close
Study Shows Which Expectant Dads May Adjust Easier to Fatherhood
By Nehal Aggarwal
lit candles as tribute to lives lost
BabyNames.Com Posts Powerful Image to Support Black Lives Matter
By Nehal Aggarwal
film stills from ferris bueller's day off and the goonies
These Are the Best Feel Good Movies of All Time, Streaming Service Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
mom's face being hidden by her baby that she's carrying
How to Prepare for the Invisible Business of Being a Mom
By Leslie Bruce
ADVERTISEMENT
actress shay mitchell has her boyfriend wear pregnancy suit
Mom-to-Be Shay Mitchell Makes Boyfriend Wear Pregnancy Suit to Relate
By Laurie Ulster
How to Prepare Your Relationship for Baby
How to Prepare Your Relationship for Baby
By Christin Perry
pregnant couples looking into distant unhappy
6 Common Fights Expectant Couples Have (and How to Solve Them)
By Shannon Guyton
ADVERTISEMENT
When Baby Makes Three: 11 Smart Tips for Parents-to-Be
When Baby Makes Three: 11 Smart Tips for Parents-to-Be
By Cari Wira Dineen
contemplative couple embraces in beautiful outdoor scenery
How a Couple’s Marriage Survived Their Son’s Unexpected Diagnosis
By Nicole Hannel
megan markle and prince harry, harry gives up alcohol during megan's pregnancy
Prince Harry Has Reportedly Given Up His Guilty Pleasures While Meghan Markle Is Pregnant
By Stephanie Grassullo
ADVERTISEMENT
affectionate pregnant couple outside
A Dad-to-Be’s Guide To Having a Baby
By Daddy Nickell
meghan markle ex-husband trevor engelson red carpet event Anti-Defamation League Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner
Meghan Markle Made Her Ex-Husband Sign a Pregnancy Contract, According to Sources
By Stephanie Grassullo
Chrissy Teigen
Dad Goals: John Legend Helps Chrissy Teigen With Pregnancy Problems in the Best Way
By Sarah Hooper
dad on phone while holding newborn
A Breastfeeding App for Dads?
By Anisa Arsenault
ADVERTISEMENT
beautifully wrapped presents
5 Hints Every Dad-to-Be Needs Before Buying a Push Present
By Mike Johnson
men celebrating man shower party
What's the Deal With 'Dadchelor' Parties?
By Lissa Harnish Poirot
How to Get Help From Your Partner Once Baby Arrives
How to Get Help From Your Partner Once Baby Arrives
By Jayme M
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List