A ‘Western diet’ of fast food can have a negative impact on sperm count, according to new research published at the 2019 congress of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
The Harvard University study examined the sperm quality of 3,000 young Danish men and discovered that a diet of burger, chips, pizza and red meat was linked to lower sperm counts.
The question asked by scientists was, how do typical diets of northern European men influence testicular function?
All the men who took part in the study followed military fitness exams between 2007 and 2017 and were categorised by the type of diet they consumed during that time.
As well as the junk food diet, the types of diet looked at included a more ‘prudent’ diet of fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables and water, a more traditional Danish diet, known as a smorrebrod diet, which included foods such as cold processed meat, whole grains, mayonnaise, dairy and a vegetarian diet of vegetables, fruit and soy products.
Scientists discovered that the ‘prudent diet’ was shown to have the most positive effect on higher sperm quality and count. Men who followed a vegetarian diet had the second highest sperm counts in the study.
The study authors wrote in the research notes: “The findings support growing evidence that adhering to generally healthy diet patterns, is associated to higher sperm counts and more favourable markers of sperm function.”
It noted that men do have the ability to improve their sperm quality with changes from a junk food diet to a prudent or vegetarian range of foods.
Women were also advised to follow a prudent diet.
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