According to data from a study carried out by researchers from the Center for Research on Congenital Anomalies (CIAC) of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), men are recommended a daily intake of small amounts of folic acid, together with the abandonment of tobacco, at least three months before fertilization.

A study whose results are published in the journal Journal of Medical Genetics, shows that the prevention to have a healthy child is the responsibility of both the father and the mother, therefore, if both parents consume sufficient amounts of folic acid, the risk of the baby suffering from congenital defects.

In the essay, the epigenetic mechanisms that occur from fertilization to embryonic and fetal development and that regulate the transcription and translation of genes, which do not depend on the primary DNA sequence, are studied.

The director of CIAC-ISCIII, Dr. María Luisa Martínez Frías, together with the other authors of the study, establish a series of recommendations to follow for both men and women prior to pregnancy:

  • Eat 0.4 mg of folic acid daily.
  • Follow a balanced and healthy diet.
  • No Smoking.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not take medication without first consulting a doctor.
  • Follow the rules of prevention of occupational hazards, especially with chemical products, since most are expelled in the seminal fluid, so it can contaminate women.

This series of advice should be followed by the woman equally throughout the pregnancy.

Understanding the Causes of Major Birth Defects: Steps to Prevention (November 2019).