Diet rich in nuts may improve sperm count, quality

Want stronger, healthier sperm? Eat your nuts

Want stronger, healthier sperm? Eat your nuts

Thus, a diet rich in fatty acids omega-3, antioxidants and vitamin B has a positive effect on fertility.

As shown by research, the man who ate about two handfuls of a mixture of almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts every day for two weeks had more active sperm in the ejaculate.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Eshre) taking place in Barcelona, Spain. The decline has been linked to factors including pollution, smoking, and unhealthy aspects of the Western-style diet, the study authors said.

Sperm counts in men have more than halved over the past 40 years, a trend that has led to a raft of scientific investigations into the possible causes.

Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the research, said it was also possible that men in the nut group might have made other positive changes to their lives not taken into account by the study.

The findings "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality", the researchers said. The results showed a 16 percent improvement in sperm count and a four percent improvement in sperm vitality.

"Therefore, with regard to this study, I am not surprised that a diet rich in nuts is associated with better sperm". Sperm as well as blood samples were tested for the participants. According to Salas-Huetos these factors are all associated with male fertility. Reduction in DNA fragmentation was the main reason why the other parameters also improved he said.

On being asked if men hoping to conceive a baby should add nuts to their everyday diet, he Salas-Huetos said, "We can't yet say that based exclusively on the results of this study".

"We can't yet say that based exclusively on the results of this study", said Dr. Salas-Huetos.

"But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception", the doctor added, "and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet".

The results showed significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, movement and morphology among the men in the 60 g/day nut diet than in those following their usual diets free of nuts. The work, funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council, has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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