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Posted by on Oct 7, 2018 in Infertility | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study reviewed dietary factors that may influence male fertility.

Some background

Male infertility is an increasing problem. In many cases, there is no obvious cause for male infertility. Some studies suggest that diet may play a role in this. Men that are overweight or obese are more likely to be infertile.

The importance of a healthy diet is an area of much interest. It is unclear if a healthy diet is linked to improved male fertility.

Methods & findings

The process of making sperm involves a number of steps. If something goes wrong at any of these steps the quality and quantity of sperm can be affected. The outer layer of the sperm is called the cell membrane. It is composed of fatty acids called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs can be found in foods including fish oils and nuts. Evidence shows that men with a high intake of PUFAs have healthier sperm. Saturated and trans fats may reduce sperm quality.

Antioxidants are important for healthy sperm. Vitamins C and E are examples of antioxidants. Antioxidants absorb molecules called free radicals. This reduces stress and stops sperm from damaging during production. Folic acid is important for sperm cells to function. Studies show that folic acid improves sperm motility.

There is conflicting evidence on the effects of soy, dairy and meat products. More investigation is needed to determine the benefit/harm of these products. Fish oils are beneficial to male fertility; however, fish can also be a hazard. This is due to contamination with heavy metals such as mercury. Fruit and vegetable are an important part of a healthy diet. Pesticide residues are often present on fruit and vegetables. Men with high levels of pesticide residues have a lower sperm count and poorer sperm quality.

The Mediterranean diet pattern is associated with better sperm. A Mediterranean diet is high in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains; and low in red meat and low-fat dairy.

The bottom line

This study reviewed dietary factors that may influence male fertility.

Published By :

Fertility and Sterility

Date :

Sep 01, 2018

Original Title :

Diet and men’s fertility: does diet affect sperm quality?

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