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Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Infertility | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This article examined the dietary habits of Asian males to determine if it had any impact on semen quality. The study concluded that a "Western diet", high in sugar and carbohydrates, was associated with lower semen quality.

Some background

Infertility is a growing problem and there is evidence that semen quality is declining. There are several factors which may influence this, including nutrition. The average Western diet has changed considerably over the past few decades. Some studies have noted an association between the Western diet, which is high in processed foods, sugar, fat and animal protein, and male fertility. Studies have not examined the effect of an Asian diet, which is typically higher in seafood and vegetables. 

Methods & findings

7282 Taiwanese males participated in this study. They were asked to report their dietary patterns and diet was characterized into 5 groups. The groups included “healthy diet”, “Western diet”, “high-carbohydrate diet”, “high sweet snacks & sugar-sweetened drinks” and “high-sodium diet”. Sperm concentration, motility (percentage of sperm moving normally) and morphology (appearance) was measured.

A “Western diet”, which includes meat, dairy and fried foods, was associated with reduced sperm concentration and abnormal sperm morphology. A “high-carbohydrate diet”, including grains, whole grains and root vegetables, was associated with a higher prevalence of abnormal sperm motility (total motility less than 40%). A “high-sodium diet”, including processed canned foods, was associated with a higher abnormal sperm morphology.

The odds of low sperm motility were greater in a “high-carbohydrate diet”. A diet of “highly sweet snacks and sugar-sweetened drinks” increased the odds of an abnormal sperm concentration.

The bottom line

This study concluded that a Western diet and those high in processed, sugar-rich and fat-rich foods are associated with poor semen quality.

The fine print

This study was conducted in Taiwanese men and the results may not translate directly to other ethnicities. Ingredients and the nutritional content of Taiwanese foods may differ from that in other countries. 

What’s next?

The effects of diet on fertility is still under examination. However, a balanced diet is important for overall well-being and health.

Published By :


Date :

Jul 28, 2015

Original Title :

The Association between Dietary Patterns and Semen Quality in a General Asian Population of 7282 Males.

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