Think a romantic meal of beef tenderloin with a side of potatoes sounds delicious? Maybe with a nice Bordeaux? Perhaps it does (especially if it’s grass-fed beef!), but it may decrease your chances of conception.
Men who ate healthy diets not only had faster sperm, they had more sperm in their semen. It was both a quality and quantity effect.
Dr. Jaime Mendiola of the University of Murcia, Spain said of his research:
In this study, we have found that people who consume more fruits and vegetables are ingesting more anti-oxidants and this is the important point.
We saw that, among the couples with fertility problems coming to the clinic, the men with good semen quality ate more vegetables and fruit than those men with low seminal quality.
There are obviously many factors that influence fertility, and this is only one.
Some other factors:
- Low sperm count have been linked to phthalate exposure. Just one more reason to reach for the organic skincare products and avoid certain plastics.
- Smokers have a lower fertility level.
- Many medications–especially those for depression–are linked to infertility in men.
- Obese men can increase fertility if they lose weight. Hmm…cutting back on those meat and potatoes and dosing up on the healthy fare could help both causes.
For his next study, Dr. Mendiola says he’ll check whether these vitamins should come from pills or food, or if it even matters.
In this study, only 60 men were studied: 30 with fertility problems and 31 with healthy sperm. A large-scale study would obviously be useful in this case. The results are published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Image: thebusybrain on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.