Monday, April 28, 2008

Can a Woman's Diet Determine the Sex of Her Baby?

I’d always been taught in biology class that the sex of a baby is determined by the father. If he contributes an X chromosome, you’ve got a girl. If he gives a Y chromosome, it’s a bouncing baby boy. But at the same time, being the mother of four boys, I’ve always wondered if I played a part somehow in attracting all those Y chromosomes. Now a study released by British researchers says that I could be right.

According to researcher Fiona Mathews at the University of Exeter, a woman’s diet may affect whether she conceives a boy or a girl. An Associated Press story about the study states that “certain nutrients or eating patterns make women’s bodies more hospitable to sperm carrying the male chromosome.” For instance, having a good appetite, eating foods that are rich in potassium (like bananas) and not skipping breakfast appeared to increase the odds of having a boy.

A fertility specialist at University of Illinois at Chicago says these findings correlate with evidence from test-tube fertilizations that male embryos thrive better when they are exposed to more “nutrient-rich lab cultures.”

According to a press release posted by The Royal Society, “Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Oxford show a clear link between a high energy intake before conception and the birth of sons. As well as consuming more calories, women who had sons were more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients such as, potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12. There was also a strong correlation between women who ate breakfast cereals and the production of sons” (Source:

Well, it is true that I’ve never dieted and I’m a big fan of bananas, so perhaps there is some truth to this study! In any case, there’s no harm in heeding its advice if you’re trying to conceive a baby of a particular gender. Hey, guys, want to get that son you always wanted? Seduce your honey with a banana daiquiri tonight!

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