Nut-rich diets improve sperm count and power, study says

The findings are consistent with improvements in other recent studies, reporting that diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants, and folate produce better sperm.

Results showed significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, mobility and morphology in the first group of subjects composed of those who ate nuts.

The results of the study were presented by Albert Salas-Huetos from the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira i Virgil in Reus, Spain.

The trial involved measuring conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over a 14-week period. For example, it is unclear what the subjects' regular "western-style diet" actually consisted of.

All over the world, cases of infertility are rising.

A total of 119 healthy men between the ages 18 and 35 were studied for the test before the researchers came to this conclusion.

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The findings "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality", the researchers said.

This simple addition to the diet can significantly improve the quality and volume of sperm cells, as well as their motility. Nuts are part of the Mediterranean diet that is considered to be the healthiest diet for the heart, blood vessels and other organs.

They were followed up after 14 weeks, and those who ate the nuts had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, and motility, and morphology. At the molecular level it has also been proposed that the genetic integrity of each sperm cell is essential for successful fertilisation; if DNA strands in the cell become damaged or fragmented, they will be unable or less likely to fertilise an egg and maintain embryonic development. According to Salas-Huetos these factors are all associated with male fertility.

As well as improvements in sperm count and shape, the researchers examined the quality of DNA inside the sperm.

So should men hoping to conceive a baby - either naturally or with IVF - add nuts to their everyday diet?

The results of this new study confirm previous research carried out in 2013 by the researchers from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA University in California, USA, which also revealed that a considerable quantity of nuts, consumed daily, would improve the sperm quality and male fertility, in general. Not yet, said Salas-Huetos. This study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council.

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