Bad news for men who enjoy eating pizza, chips and burgers – it might be affecting your semen.
Though we can’t fault you for your dietary choices (you’re only human), science says a typical western diet might be drastically lowering how many viable sperms you have.
The quality of semen deteriorates in those on a ‘western diet’ of processed meat, sugary drinks and snacks, say scientists.
Researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health compared results between men on such diets against vegetarian ones and those on ‘prudent’ diets rich in protein and dairy.
They found that in comparison, vegetarian men have a higher sperm count.
A study of 3,000 men aged between 18-20 found that men who ate unhealthily had 25.6 million fewer sperm than their counterparts.
To put that into perspective, the World Health Organisation says that 39 million or more is a normal amount.
When couples are struggling with fertility, potential fathers are usually encouraged to maintain a better lifestyle and eat healthier to improve their chances of pregnancy.
So lifestyle clearly affects semen, says Allan Pacey, a professor from the University of Sheffield who commented on the findings presented at The European Society of Human Production and Embryology in Vienna.
The experts said that the low numbers could be a result of the lack of antioxidants found in junk food. These substances are usually found in nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Though vegetarian men were found to be healthier, the best counts were found in men regularly consuming fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit and water.
The results provide interesting insight into how diets at a younger age may affect fertility in later life.
That’s not the only thing affecting sperm count. Apparently, cannabis users have a higher count. We imagine that comes as good news to some.
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