Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Nut-rich diets improve sperm count and power, study says

Nut-rich diets improve sperm count and power, study says

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and macademia nuts are nuggets of nutrition full of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin B. These nutrients are important for improving the production of healthy sperm cells.

A new study has found eating two handfuls of nuts a day could improve men's sperm counts.

Dr. Salas-Huetos presented the research at the 34th Annual Meeting of ESHRE.

This was a randomized trial where sperm parameters were measured in the study participants over a 14 week study.

The researchers believe "pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet" are affecting sperm health.

Random dietary assignments in the study found that subjects randomised to the nut group had significant improvements in their sperm. About 40 to 50 percent of infertility cases are due to infertility among men.

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.

Although the findings support hopeful fathers adding nuts to their diets, the researchers stress the study was carried out on healthy men who ate a western diet and therefore the results may not apply to all. Some were given a diet with nuts while the others did not receive the food in their diet.

When scientists analyzed the sperm and blood samples, they found that those who ate nuts had, on average, a 16 percent higher sperm count.

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. This parameter is suggested as something that is often associated with male infertility. At the molecular level it has also been proposed that the genetic integrity of each sperm cell is essential for successful fertilisation; if DNA strands in the cell become damaged or fragmented, they will be unable or less likely to fertilise an egg and maintain embryonic development.

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

He added that a potential flaw in the study was that it was impossible to eat nuts "blind". The study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council.

According to Salas-Huetos one of the limitations of the study was the inclusion of healthy males with normal fertility.

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