Men whose diet included primarily fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables had higher sperm motility compared to men who consume red meat, processed carbohydrates, sweets and energy drinks.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) asked 188 healthy men between 18 and 22 years old to answer a food frequency questionnaire, and from the results they came up with two diet classifications. The first classification was the Western diet, comprised of red meat and refined grains, the second being the Prudent diet, made up of high intakes of fish, vegetables, and whole grains.
The results were then compared to their semen quality, using standard measures of sperm concentration, motility and shape from their semen samples. Other factors such as abstinence time, body mass index, exercise level, age, weight, alcohol intake, smoking frequency, caffeine intake and total calories were controlled for this purpose.
While no association was found between nutrition and sperm count or shape, those under the Prudent diet were found to have higher sperm motility versus those under the Western diet. Said Audrey Gaskins, lead researcher and a doctoral candidate at HSPH, ““This is the first study to look at this issue in an unselected group of men. Nutrition could possibly be a safe and inexpensive way to improve semen quality.”
Another study conducted by researchers from the University of Murcia in Spain, on the other hand, revealed that men with a diet high in trans-fat had lower sperm concentration. On the other hand, the high trans-fat diet resulted in a higher level of trans-fats in the sperm and seminal plasma. The 100 male subjects, attending the Fertility Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, recorded their diet in food journals and had their semen analyzed thereafter.