Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is it True, Mom's Diet Could Determine Baby's Gender?

Whatever mom eats before pregnancy influences the gender of her baby, according to a recent surprising British research tagged as the first in humans to show a link between a woman's diet and whether she has a boy or girl.

Some correlated instances are, when moms are having a hearty appetite for potassium-rich foods like bananas and avocados, and when the mother is not skipping breakfast cereals, all of these are likely factors of popping out a boy -- more nutrients are needed to build boys than girls.

Of course, it is a fact the men’s sperm are the ones which determines a baby’s gender, however, it could be that certain nutrients intake and the eating patterns of the mother, make women’s bodies conducive to the sperm carrying the male chromosomes.

This study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British medical journal, involved of about 700 first-time-pregnant moms in the U.K. who didn’t have any knowledge of the sexes of their fetuses, who were asked of their eating habits a year before getting pregnant.

According to the report, women are divided into three groups according to their calorie consumption. The results are: women (top third) with the highest calorie intake (but still within a normal healthy range), 56% had boys, while those women (lowest third) with the lowest calorie intake, only 45% had boys.

Women who ate at least one bowl daily of breakfast cereal were 87% more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week. Cereal is a typical breakfast in Britain and in the study, eating very little cereal was considered a possible sign of skipping breakfast.

University of Exeter researcher Fiona Mathews, lead author of the study, said, the findings also fit with fertility research showing that male embryos aren't likely to survive in lab cultures with low sugar levels, thus, skipping meals can result in low blood sugar levels. Those women who ate an additional 300 milligrams of potassium and 400 calories more on daily average, had delivered boys, compared with the women who had girls. Nevertheless, nobody is recommending out that moms be piggish just to have a boy or starved out just to have a girl. Some reactions floated out.

Dr.Tarun Jain, a fertility specialist (not involved in the study) at University of Illinois, who was skeptical when he first heard about the research, said, it is not proof, but it fits with evidence from test tube fertilization that male embryos thrive best with longer exposure to nutrient-rich lab cultures. It just might be that it takes more nutrients to build boys than girls. The study was well-done and merits follow-up study to see if the theory proves true. It's not necessarily as far-fetched as it sounds. While men's sperm determine a baby's gender, it could be that certain nutrients or eating patterns make women's bodies more hospitable to sperm carrying the male chromosome. It's an interesting question. I'm not aware of anyone else looking at it in this manner.

Dr. Michael Lu, an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and public health at the University of California at Los Angeles, said the results are certainly plausible from an evolutionary biology perspective. In other words, since boys tend to be bigger, it would make sense that it would take more calories to create them. A woman's diet before pregnancy may be a marker for other factors in their lives that could influence their baby's gender, including timing of intercourse. The bottom line is, we still don't know how to advise patients in how to make boys.

Is it a tale, we oftentimes heard from elder moms, "if you eat bananas you'll have a baby boy?"

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Nihal said...

Wow..thats very interesting..I am not a mother yet, but when i am a mother i am going to check if it is true or not.. :)

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Ozy said...

That's an interesting article, but I believe in for example, the sperm says it must be a boy but if the mother keeps eating food that might yield a girl. A boy will come out with female inclinations, or gay sometimes.

Just a thought.

Liza said...

this is really interesting. first time i've heard of it. had i known before, i could have told my friend who has 5 girls.

take care and have a happy wednesday!

Crissy said...

I checked on the internet before conceiving with my second child (a boy) on how to have a baby boy. I only read the scientific part of it and did work on us. This article is informative and useful for those mom-to-be or those wanting a boy in the family.