Sperm Health, Fertility and Food

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The respected journal “Fertility and Sterility” published a significant study this month, relating to meat intake and how it is related to sperm quality and male fertility in conjunction with IVF. The study was focussed on couples undergoing infertility treatment with the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), but I believe that these results are important for all men to consider as they move forward on their journey to grow/build their family. It turns out that there are some very simple ways to improve our sperm quality with some minor adjustments in dietary habits and the types of meat we are consuming.

First of all have no fear. For the meat eaters out there, there was no significant indication that total meat intake in general has a positive or negative effect on our sperm quality/quantity and fertility or IVF success rates. What is significant is the type of meat we are eating.

There was a positive association between poultry intake and fertilization rates, with a 13% higher rate among men doing IVF who consumed the most poultry compared to those who consumed the least. At Yinstill we recommend to eat organic eggs and chicken to avoid any excess toxin intake, but all in all good news for poultry eaters.

Here is the big warning to men: avoid processed meats. Bacon, sausages, processed lunch meats and similar types of meats had a negative effect on fertility using ART. The fertilization rates for men ranged from 82% (least amount of processed meat) to 54% (most amount of processed meat) in conventional IVF cycles.

Some foods that are beneficial to sperm health and male fertility are listed below. By making some simple changes to our dietary habits, men can greatly improve their fertility and sperm health.

1. Garlic
Garlic is a good choice for encouraging sperm production. It contains selenium, an antioxidant necessary for sperm motility; and allicin, a compound that protects the male swimmers from damage and improves circulation to the sexual organs.

2. Walnuts
Walnuts are abundant in essential omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and aid semen motility and viability by improving blood flow to the sexual organs. They are also known to lower cholesterol and boost brain function.

3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which fight harmful free radicals and promote heart health. This is important for anyone experiencing fertility issues as free radical damage is thought to be a major factor in male infertility.

Further resources/reading:


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