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Male fertility: a window on the health of this generation and the next

Published:September 24, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2019.09.009
      In this issue of RBMO Martín-Calvo and colleagues (
      • Martín-Calvo N.
      • Mínguez-Alarcón L.
      • Gaskins AJ.
      • Nassan F.L.
      • Williams P.L.
      • Souter I.
      • Hauser R.
      • Chavarro J.E.
      Paternal preconception folate intake in relation to gestational age at delivery and birthweight of newborns conceived through assisted reproduction.
      ) provide clinical data showing that higher paternal pre conception folate intake was significantly associated with a longer gestation time. Previous studies in mice have shown that manipulation of paternal dietary folate was associated with increased birth defects and identified marked changes in the sperm epigenome associated with health of the offspring (
      • Lambrot R.
      • Xu C.
      • Saint-Phar S.
      • Chountalos G.
      • Cohen T.
      • Paquet M.
      • Suderman M.
      • Hallett M.
      • Kimmins S.
      Low paternal dietary folate alters the mouse sperm epigenome and is associated with negative pregnancy outcomes.
      ). Whilst the potential epigenetic mechanisms remain to be elucidated fully in animals and are, at best, unclear in humans, this study puts the focus of examination on the contribution of the male to overall health of future generations.
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