The secret to healthy sperm may be simpler than we think. According to a recent study, a diet rich in the omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) actually helps males increase the quality of their sperm.
DHA was revealed to have therapeutic benefits with an experiment involving mice. Infertile mice were found to be low in DHA, and when these rodents were fed with a diet rich in the said fatty acid, their fertility was restored.
Explains lead researcher Dr. Manabu Nakamura, “In the absence of DHA, male mice are basically infertile, producing few if misshaped sperm that can’t get anywhere they need to go.”
In order for a sperm to achieve its pointy-headed shape with an extra long tail, it needs an arc-like structure, called the acrosome. The acrosome is responsible for containing, organizing and concentrating different enzymes so the sperm can penetrate an egg, and it needs DHA to be developed.
Said Timothy Abbott, study co-author, “Without DHA, this vital structure doesn't form and sperm cells don't work.”
Other studies have shown just how an omega-3-rich diet can positively influence sperm quality. Omega-3, naturally abundant in marine fish such as tuna or salmon, helps deal with sperm abnormalities involving count, shape, mobility and breeding success rate.
• January 11, 2012. NYDailyNews.com. “Sushi dinner can boost sperm quality; omega-3 fatty acid present in fish can raise male fertility” NYDailyNews.com
• April 13, 2010. Stephen Daniells. “Omega-3 DHA may boost male fertility: For mice at least” nutraingredients.com
• January 10, 2012. “Dietary DHA Linked To Male Fertility” tsi-si.org
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