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Link Between Sperm DNA Quality In Older Men Improved Nutrition

The Daily Californian,  Aug 28, 2012

Older men looking to have children may want to monitor the amount of vitamins in their diet.

A study published Monday in part by researchers from UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that a higher intake of micronutrients — vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and zinc — is strongly associated with improved DNA quality in the sperm of older men.

By separating the men into the three categories of low, moderate and high micronutrient intake, researchers found that men over the age of 44 who consumed the most vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc or folate micronutrients had approximately 20 percent less sperm DNA damage than those who consumed the lowest amount. The results of the study were published online Monday in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

A separate study published Aug. 22 in the journal Nature found that older men are more likely than younger men to pass on gene mutations in their sperm linked to autism and schizophrenia.

But older men inwho consumed above the recommended daily intake of micronutrients had the same level of sperm damage as the younger men in the study, said Andrew Wyrobek, a co-author of the research and a senior staff scientist at Berkeley Lab.

Although the researchers found a clear association between higher micronutrient intake and improved sperm DNA in older men, Wyrobek said they still need to confirm whether this link can also be associated with male fertility and the health of offspring.

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