High fat diet could affect male fertility

November 12, 2012

High fat diet could affect male fertility

Infertility is becoming more and more common, and experts now think that high fat diets could be lowering the sperm count of many men.Male infertility is relatively common – affecting between 10 and 15% of couples. Studies suggest that when a couple have difficulty conceiving the cause lies with the woman in approximately 1/3 of cases and with the man for 1/3 of the cases – the remaining 1/3 will have no determinable reason for their inability to conceive.

  • Preliminary study

A preliminary study claims that men who eat a diet that is high in saturated fats may lower their fertility. Saturated fat – the kind associated with meat and dairy products – has been associated with low sperm counts.

  • Low quality sperm

The new study has discovered that men who eat a diet with many fatty and processed foods have lower quality sperm than those men who choose a diet low in saturated fat and higher in Omega 3 fats. The men consuming a high fat diet were also found to have up to 35% less sperm than those choosing the healthier options.

  • Healthy eating is always good

Nowadays everyone knows that eating a healthy, well balanced diet is important for good health. The recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, together with minimal red meat consumption and avoiding those fatty options is definitely the way forward for maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy heart. It now seems that it will also contribute to improved male fertility.

  • Improved fertility

If this small study is to be believed one of the things that men can do to improve their fertility is to eat a healthier diet, choosing low fat options – including lots of fish will seemingly improve not just the quality of sperm but also the quantity. Since there is not much men can do improve their fertility – other than choosing boxers over tight fitting underwear – choosing a healthy diet seems to be an easy way to increase the chances of conception.

  • Recent studies, no real conclusions

Studies involving the influence of lifestyle choices on male fertility are a fairly recent occurrence. It is already understood that excess alcohol, substance abuse, smoking and heat around the testicles will affect sperm count; it now seems that diet may also be a factor. This particular study was relative small – only 99 men, these men were already attending a fertility clinic and were asked to self-complete questionnaires, which is not always a reliable method of research. 75% of the men were overweight or obese which has also been implicated in lower male fertility. Whilst the results of this study may well be inconclusive it must, nevertheless, be noted that eating a healthy diet is beneficial in many ways and a healthy male is more likely to have healthy, active sperm than an unhealthy male.

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