Most men are aware of the issues that alcohol and smoking can have on sperm quality, but they probably never thought about how their diet could damage their sperm and contribute to male factor infertility. Here are The Big 3 items to remove from your diet if you want to see better quality sperm:
Sperm Health & Too Much Full Fat Diary
One 2013 study found that men who ate more servings of full-fat dairy a day (4-13 servings of things like cheese, ice cream, whole milk, cream, cream cheese a day) had lower sperm count, less sperm that moved and more abnormally shaped sperm. Think about this: the cows that make the milk for cheese are pregnant and have a plethora of estrogen circulating in their blood that makes it into the milk, which makes it into the cheese you eat. 60-80% of the estrogen we consume from our diet actually comes from cow’s milk — and sperm are sensitive to high estrogen levels. It might be time to pass on the cow’s milk and cheese (or stick to 1 serving a day max) if you want to boost the number of sperm that are moving and normally shaped. Source: doi: 10.1093/humrep/det133
Sperm Health & Smoked or Proceed Meats
Hot dogs, bacon, deli meats, and sausages are delicious, but not a sperm’s best friend. In a 2014 study, men who ate 3 servings a day had lower sperm count and less sperm that were moving. The nitrates or chemicals employed to make these processed items cause inflammation, which can damage the sperm while they are developing.
A better choice? Opt for wild-caught salmon, cod, halibut, and tuna to pick those numbers up. In the same study, men who consumed 2 or more servings a week had a higher sperm count and more sperm that were moving and normally shaped. Source: doi: 10.3945/jn.113.190173
Sperm Health & Sugary Beverages
There are many studies pointing to higher sugar intake being associated with worse overall health, and sperm would be just as affected. A 2014 study looked at how sugary beverages like pops, sports drinks and sugary ice tea might affect sperm. This study found that men who had over 1 serving a day (that would be 1 glass, bottle, can or 12oz) had worse sperm markers. They had fewer sperm that were moving and fewer that were moving forward (very important when trying to get pregnant), and less normal-shaped sperm. These high sugar drinks can cause higher insulin levels, which will tip the body towards more inflammation and harm sperm as they are developing. The plastic containers these drinks come in could cause a double whammy of damage, because we know phthalates and BPA from plastic are also the enemies of happy and fast-moving sperm. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible to protect those tiny sperm as they grow. Source: doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu102
To learn more about how you can support your fertility, or to book an online appointment with a Conceive Health ND, contact us today.