Nuts may boost male fertility, finds study

07 Julio, 2018, 13:55 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • 15 2015 shows hazelnuts on display at the Talensac market in central Nantes western France. /AFP

The results of a small study from a team of Spanish researchers is suggesting that adding a moderate volume of nuts to a diet could improve both sperm count and motility.

During the 14-week study the men ate 60 grams of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts.

The findings of the study, funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council, were presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting in Barcelona.

The quality and function of their sperm-including changes on a molecular level-were measured at the start and end of a 14-week period.

Results firstly found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology in the men randomised to the 60 g/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 119 participants of the study were young and healthy men aged between 18 and 35.

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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. On average, their sperm count was 16 percent higher than those who did not eat nuts.

"Therefore, with regard to this study, I am not surprised that a diet rich in nuts is associated with better sperm".

The decline in sperm concentration was put at -1.4% per year and in total sperm count at -1.6% per year.

Study author Dr Albert Salas-Huetos said: 'Evidence is accumulating that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet'. For the analysis, the researchers recorded not only the quality of the sperm but also the changes that occurred in several molecular factors, including sperm DNA fragmentation. Sperm with highly fragmented DNA has been associated with male infertility. A handful of nuts every day will go a long way in improving male fertility.

"The fact that the study has taken place is good", said Virginia Bolton, a consultant embryologist at Guy's and St Thomas's hospital in London, "but we need to see this translated into an effect on fertility". "They can adopt healthier nutrition and overall lifestyles that should also have an impact on sperm quality".



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