All men need folate for good health. Folate is needed for new and developing cells no matter your age. You are always making new cells for your body like skin, blood, hair, gut and other cells.

Health Benefits of Folate

Folate also has been associated with reducing the risk for some chronic diseases. Studies show that higher levels of homocysteine (pronounced hoe-moe-SIS-teen), an amino acid found in the blood, may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Folate can help to reduce the amount of homocysteine in blood, which may help reduce the risk for heart disease.

How Much Folate Men Need

The Institute of Medicine has established the following Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for folate: 400 micrograms DFE per day for teenage boys (14-18 years) and all men 19 and older.*

Fast-paced lifestyles, fast food and dieting to lose weight are all things that can make it harder to get the folate you need every day.

Folic Acid Can Reduce the Risk of Birth Defects

  • Folate may be important for men's reproductive health and has been associated with higher sperm counts and density.**
  • Folic acid may help to reduce the risk of having a baby with certain birth defects of the brain and spinal cord called neural tube defects. Folic acid also may help to reduce the risk of other birth defects including defects of the heart, face, urinary tract, and limbs.

Support all the women in your life that you love--wife or partner, daughters, granddaughters, mothers, sisters, aunts and others. Remind them to take a daily multivitamin with folic acid.

Remember, whether you are planning to have children or not, whether you are hoping for grandchildren or not--about half of all pregnancies are unplanned! So, it is especially important for the women of childbearing age in your life to get enough folic acid every day.


  • *Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1998. DFE = dietary folate equivalents.
  • **Wallock, L. M., Tamura, T., Mayr, C. A., Johnson, K. E., Ames, B. N., and Jacob, R. A. (2001) Low seminal plasma folate concentrations are associated with low sperm density and count in male smokers and nonsmokers. Fertility and Sterility. 75(2):252-259.

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Men need folate every day for good health. Folate may help reduce the risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers and Alzheimer's disease.

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