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Eating nuts increases the quality of sperm, Spanish study finds

07 July 2018

These were consistent with improvements found in other recent studies with diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc) and folate.

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

Salas-Huetos presented the work at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona this week.

The trial involved measuring conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over a 14-week period.

The decline has been attributed in industrialised countries to "pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet".

Just a 60g daily serving of the mixed nuts improves their sperm count by 16 per cent, a Spanish study found today. About 40 to 50 percent of infertility cases are due to infertility among men.

Researchers from Rovira i Virgili University in Spain recruited 119 men aged 18 to 35, and divided them into two groups.

Researchers say the findings "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality" and reflect the value of further male-specific dietary recommendations.

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In this study subjects randomized to the nut group had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape). Some were given a diet with nuts while the others did not receive the food in their diet.

Their sperm vitality also rose by 4 percent, sperm motility by 6 percent and sperm morphology by 1 percent.

Sperm and blood samples were taken at the beginning and end of the study. These four parameters, explained Salas-Huetos, are all associated with male fertility.

He added that a potential flaw in the study was that it was impossible to eat nuts "blind".

However, Salas-Huetos said it's impossible for him to be able to recommend nut supplements to men struggling to have children, "based exclusively on the results of this study".

The results also concluded that those who ate nuts had a "significant" fall in sperm DNA fragmentation, which is crucial for successful fertilisation and normal embryo development.

Dr Salas-Huetos added: "We can't yet say that, based exclusively on the results of this study". The work, funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council, has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Eating nuts increases the quality of sperm, Spanish study finds