Nuts may boost male fertility, finds study

Henrietta Strickland
July 7, 2018

The researchers write that there has been a decline in male sperm quality of late attributed to "pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet".

Researchers based in Spain arrived at their conclusion by recruiting 119 healthy young men aged between 18 to 35.

He added that a potential flaw in the study was that it was impossible to eat nuts "blind". In its analysis the study recorded not just sperm parameters (according to World Health Organization benchmarks) but also changes in several molecular factors, including sperm DNA fragmentation.(3) Sperm and blood samples were analysed at baseline and after 14 weeks of intervention.

In this study subjects randomized to the nut group had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape).

"Evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception", lead author Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos said, via the BBC.

He said the subjects in the nut group also showed a "significant reduction" in their levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, a parameter closely associated with male infertility.

Experts said the study backed up others that showed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and the B vitamin folate improved fertility.

"We can't yet say that", Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos from the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira i Virgil in Reus, Spain said, "based exclusively on the results of this study". They undertook the study to look at a diet including nuts and the benefits it could provide. The research is set to be published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, according to The Guardian.

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

"I believe that we have enough evidence to say that improving lifestyle factors, such as diet, could be important to improve sperm quality parameters".

Nuts are dense foods containing numerous nutrients and other phytochemicals.

And men who don't eat nuts shouldn't be anxious their sperm will suffer, he said.

Still, shifting toward a healthier diet is generally a good idea if you're looking to conceive, he says.

Nicholas Macklon, medical director at the United Kingdom -based London Women's Clinic fertility treatment center, who was not involved in the study, told The Guardian: "The changes are notable and likely to be beneficial for fertility".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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