Healthy dad, healthy baby.
The prenatal checklist for a healthy baby isn't just for moms
anymore. A vitamin-rich diet for dad has been found to be a boon for
baby. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the
USDA's Western Human Nutrition Research Center have found that men
who skimp on vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables can cause damage to
their sperm cells that can increase the risk of birth defects, genetic
disease and/or cancer in their offspring. Sperm low in vitamin C was
found to be more likely to have damaged DNA, the genetic material that
forms the blueprint for the development of the next generation.
Researchers suspect that vitamin C protects DNA from substances that can
cause harmful genetic mutations. Birth defects due to damaged sperm are
relatively uncommon, but Berkeley investigator Bruce Ames says it would
be prudent for men to follow federal dietary guidelines: two servings of
fruit and three servings of vegetables each day.
--From the Ann Arbor News, 7/28/92