High Fat Intake Decreases Sperm Count

A recent study revealed the association of fat intake to sperm quality - the amount of sperm per unit volume and the amount of functional sperm.

Results from Prof. Jill Attaman and her team's research showed that men's diets could possibly be associated with the quality and quantity of a man's sperm through the type of different fats they consume.

In their study, 99 American men, had high fat intake also had lower total sperm count, both in quantity and quality. The study also showed that men who consumed more omega-3 polyunsaturated fats found in fish and plant oils, had a more formed sperm as compared with those who ate less of these fats.

However, the results may not reflect the general population. The researchers still need to extend the study to further validate the effect of fat intake on men's sperm count.

"In the mean time, if men make changes to their diets so as to reduce the amount of saturated fat they eat and increase their omega-3 intake, then this may not only improve their general health, but could improve their reproductive health too. At a global level, adopting these lifestyle modifications may improve general health." Prof. Attaman said.

The study was conducted between December 2006 and August 2010.subjects were split into three groups, according to the amount of fat eaten. Researchers found that there is a lower sperm count in the highest fat-intake group than the group with the lowest fat consumption.

Based on World Health Organization standards, a "normal" sperm count should contain at least a minimum of 39 million sperms in one ejaculation.

The study shows that the association was due to the consumption of saturated fats. Subjects who ate more food with saturated fat had 35 per cent lesser total sperm count and 38 per cent lesser concentration compared to those who ate lesser saturated fat.

Other than that, the results also revealed that men who consumed omega-3 had more functionally well-formed sperms compared to those who ate less.

Although these findings may be true for the participants of the study, the researchers still do not conclude that dietary fats actually cause poor semen quality, rather only report that there is a link between the two.

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