Following a healthy diet rich in foods such as fish, seafood, chicken, cereals, vegetables, and low-fat dairy or fruit can significantly improve sperm quality. On the contrary, a high consumption of alcohol, caffeine and red meat and processed in men can negatively influence the conception, according to a new research.
Infertility is a global public health problem affecting 15% of couples of reproductive age. Male factors, including decreased semen quality, account for approximately 25% of these cases. Dietary patterns, components and nutrients have been studied for decades as possible determinants of sperm function or fertility.
Many assisted reproductive clinics currently recommend simple lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity, behavioral therapy, and yoga to reduce stress, as well as reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption. Some clinics even or provide dietary recommendations in order to improve semen quality and fertility possibilities, despite the lack of proven scientific evidence on the role of diet in sperm parameters.
Now, researchers from the Human Nutrition Unit of the University of Rovira i Virgili (URV) and the Health Research Institute Pere i Virgili (IISPV), which are part of the CiberObn Network of the Carlos III Institute, carried out the first systematic review of all the observational studies in the scientific literature that associate the different diet components to male fertility and fecundability, which is the probability of conception in a menstrual cycle.
Male Diet and Fertility
The results show that a healthy diet rich in some nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, some antioxidants (vitamin E, vitamin C, β-carotene, selenium, zinc, cryptoxanthin and lycopene) and other vitamins (vitamin D and folate) , and a low intake of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids are associated with an improvement in sperm quality.
In addition, fish and shellfish, chicken, cereals, vegetables and fruit, or low-fat dairy products are also associated with better semen quality or sperm activity.
In contrast, excessive consumption of red and processed meats, soy-rich foods, sweetened and sweetened drinks, certain whole dairy products, and alcohol and caffeine intake are associated in some studies with a decrease in sperm quality.
Regarding fecundability, a high consumption of alcohol, caffeine and red and processed meats in men was negatively related to the probabilities of pregnancy and the fertilization rates of the couples.
According to the researchers, the work published in Human Reproduction Update has served to provide a global view on the relationship between diet, as well as the consumption of different foods and nutrients, with male fertility and fecundability so that, in the future, safe and effective dietary recommendations based on scientific evidence can be made.
The authors conclude that the adherence of men to a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean, could significantly improve sperm quality and increase the fecundability rate of the couple.
Walnuts may be the best allies for fertility
A research led by Patricia Martin-DeLeon of the University of Delaware in the United States, found significant improvements in the quality of sperm of laboratory mice who ate a diet rich in nuts.
In the study , published in the journal Heliyon, the researchers included in the diet of animals a proportion of calories of about 19.6% in walnuts (equivalent to 70 grams). According to the study, improvements in sperm quality were significant compared to results in the control group that did not consume this nut-based diet. The sperm of mice with the nut-based diet had greater mobility and morphology.
According to the investigation, nuts promote the reduction of lipid peroxidation, a process that damages sperm membranes, which are primarily made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in the nut repair cell damage in the sperm.
The researchers believe that two and a half ounces of the nut should be eaten daily for the best effect.
“What’s fascinating is we found that eating walnuts can actually help improve sperm quality, likely by reducing peroxidative damage in sperm cells,” lead researcher Dr. Martin-DeLeon said.
“More research is needed to understand the specific nutrients in walnuts that may contribute to this improvement, but the findings suggest that walnuts may be beneficial for sperm health,” she concluded.
Source: SINC, The Telegraph