Nuts in your diet helps improve sperm count and motility

This is thought to be due to the nuts being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and folate.

Salas-Huetos presented the work at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona this week. 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 industrialised countries this has been attributed to "pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet".

The researchers found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology in the men randomised to the 60 grammes per day nut diet than in those following their usual diets free of nuts. About 40 to 50 percent of infertility cases are due to infertility among men.

The investigation was focused on 119 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35.

Sky News reports that the researchers' results "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality". "Nuts are important because they are a key food for healthier life", he told Newsweek, pointing to the Mediterranean diet as a good option.

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

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

Dr Albert Salas-Huetos said the study was performed amid a general decline in the quantity and quality of sperm that men are producing. Reduction in DNA fragmentation was the main reason why the other parameters also improved he said. According to Salas-Huetos these factors are all associated with male fertility.

Pacey also suggests that the criteria used to evaluate sperm in this study does not simply mean eating nuts will increase a couple's chance of conception. The second group, on the other hand, did not eat any nuts.

Drawbacks to the study include that all the men were healthy, apparently fertile and eating a specific diet, Dr. Sala-Huetos noted, and that results should not be applied to the total population.

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

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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