- A healthy diet can potentially enhance sperm count in men, with research indicating higher sperm counts in men who consume more fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, and water compared to those who follow a ‘Western’ diet.
- Adherence to a generally healthy diet may also improve the overall quality of sperm, thus aiding in men’s fertility during their reproductive years.
- Comparatively, men who follow a ‘Western’ diet have the lowest sperm count and reduced levels of certain sex hormones crucial for fertility.
- Studies examining the impact of dietary choices on fertility are limited, notable as certain diets have been found to negatively impact sperm quality.
- Replication of these studies in diverse demographics is crucial to truly understand the impact of dietary choices on male fertility.
Diligently following a healthy diet not only benefits your heart and brain, but it may enhance your sperm count too, recent studies suggest.
In an analysis of over 2,900 men from Denmark aged around 19 years, research indicated that those whose menu largely comprised of fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, and water showed higher sperm count compared to individuals who prefer a ‘Western’ diet. This kind of diet typically includes foods like pizza, French fries, processed and red meats, snacks, refined grains, sugary drinks, and desserts.
Diet and Sperm Quality
“Our findings indicate that adhering to a generally healthy diet could act as a manageable habit. This opens up the potential for utilizing dietary intervention as a possible method for enhancing the sperm quality in men in their reproductive years” Stated Feiby Nassan, the lead author of the study. Nassan is a research associate at a renowned public health school based in Boston.
Sperm count plays a vital role in fertility as low sperm count translates to decreased chances of getting a partner pregnant. From this perspective, adhering to a generally healthy diet could be useful for men’s fertility.” She added.
Diet Choices and Fertility
For this research, the team investigated sperm counts among men who maintained a healthy diet; a conventional Western diet; a Danish diet – characterized by cold processed meats, mayo, whole grains, cold fish, dairy, and condiments; and a vegetarian diet with an abundance of vegetables, eggs, and soy milk but excluded chicken and red meat.
Among the groups, men who followed a healthy diet showcased the highest median sperm counts of 167 million. The median value for the Vegetarian diet and danish diet group turned out to be 151 million and 146 million respectively. In comparison, men who prescribed to a Western diet recorded the lowest median sperm count of 122 million. Moreover, they also exhibited lower levels of certain sex hormones that are critical for fertility.
Impact of Food Habits on Fertility
However, the study had its limitations as men self-reported their food habits, inducing the probabilities of inaccuracies, and potentially skewing the findings. An expert in fertility science at North Shore University Hospital, Dr. Christine Mullin, presented her review of the research findings.
Mullin stated that a multitude of diets are known to augment inflammation, heart and mental health, yet studies examining the impact of a diet on fertility have been scarce till date.
“While the negative impacts on spermatogenesis due to environmental exposure like smoking, pesticides, radiation, and heavy metals is well documented, there is a paucity of information on the effects of dietary choices on sperm quality,” she summarized.
Although the findings are confined to Danish men, Dr. Mullin asserts that these studies’ replication in different demographics, such as the United States, could be crucial, primarily as a Western diet negatively impacts sperm quality the most.
“If we could highlight the importance of diet for fertility in both men and women, we could address the condition in a similar way as diet has improved heart health,” she concluded.
The findings were disclosed online on 21st Feb in an open network.
To gain more insights on male infertility, you can visit this page by the American Urological Association.