Nuts for sperm health
Nuts benefit your health and wellbeing in myriad ways. Now, scientists from Spain reveal that incorporating nuts in a regular diet can improve the quality and function of human sperm. There has been a general decline in the quantity and quality of human sperm, mainly due to pollution, smoking and an increased Western-style diet in industrialised nations. As a result, researchers conducted a study to understand and investigate male-specific dietary recommendations to improve human sperm quality and function.
The results found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape) in the men who consumed a 60 g/day nut diet, compared to the nut-free diet group.
Researchers conducted a 14-week randomised clinical trial in which 119 healthy men aged 18-35 were divided into two groups. One group ate 60 grams/day of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts with their usual Western-style diet and the other group consumed their usual Western-style diet without nuts.
The researchers analysed and recorded sperm parameters — according to WHO benchmarks. They also recorded any changes in several molecular factors, including sperm DNA fragmentation. Sperm and blood samples were analysed at baseline and after 14 weeks of intervention.
The results found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape) in the men who consumed a 60 g/day nut diet, compared to the nut-free diet group. The improvements in the nut group were by 16 per cent in sperm count, 4 per cent in sperm vitality, 6 per cent in sperm motility and 1 per cent in morphology — four parameters associated with male fertility.
The participants in the nut group also showed a substantial reduction in levels of sperm DNA fragmentation — a parameter closely related to male infertility. This improvement in DNA fragmentation in the sperm cells explains the improvement in sperm count, shape and quality. These results are consistent with other studies of diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, as well as selenium, zinc and folate.
Making lifestyle changes and incorporating a healthy diet that includes nuts can improve the quality and function of human sperm and give men looking to conceive a healthy chance.
Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
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