Important epigenetic phenomena associated with folate status and metabolism, coupled with the observed increase in sperm counts after selenium, zinc, and folate supplementation in both fertile and infertile men have led to the suggestion that adequate nutritional intake of folate, selenium, and zinc may be important for male fecundity (32-34). In common with well-recognized folate-linked developmental processes in pregnancy, the benefit of adequate folate nutrition in men is likely to be due to the improved robustness of nucleotide biosynthesis necessary to support all cellular processes dependent on the fidelity of DNA replication. The most likely effect of aberrant folate metabolism in spermatogenesis is the abnormal accumulation of damaged spermatozoal DNA (see below for mechanistic explanation of this general principle).
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