We have made the point on a few occasions that fat is not fatal as long as you’re eating healthy fats which include the monounsaturated fats. We have also recommended limiting saturated fats for a variety of health reasons. This study published in the American Journal of Nutrition on 701 Danish men adds another potential reason to avoid saturated fats. The study revealed that saturated fat may be fatal to sperm and it appears to be dose related. In other words, those men consuming the most saturated fat had the lowest sperm counts and concentrations. This doesn’t mean that there is a cause and effect relationship, but given everything else we know about saturated fats the findings of this study do not seem out of line.
The next step is to determine whether reducing saturated fat intake leads to improved sperm counts and quality. That type of study has not yet been done.
Global Decline in Sperm Counts
What’s more dangerous to the perpetuation of the human race – global warming or the global decline in sperm counts? We can argue the science behind global warming but there is no refuting the fact the sperm counts (and testosterone levels) are declining across the globe.
Besides the Danish study other studies have found declines in sperm counts, too. In France sperm counts have decline 33% between 1989 and 2005. Some experts also think that obesity is a causative factor in declining sperm counts. Junk food has been linked to poorer quality sperm, too.
The results of the Danish study may partially explain why sperm counts have been declining across the globe. There are probably are causative factors. We know there are a lot xenoestrogens in the environment that are also related to lower sperm counts. Xenoestrogens are endocrine disrupting chemicals that have estrogen like properties. Their increasing presence may also explain higher breast cancer rates in women and the earlier sexual development of female adolescents.
Foods to Improve Male Fertility
If there are foods that lead to lower sperm counts there must be foods that lead to higher counts as well. At least that’s what my brain tells me. And, there are sperm enhancing foods. Fruits improve the agility and the speed of sperm to swim. Wheat, oats, and barley are linked to improve sperm concentration and mobility.
So save the sperm and avoid saturated fats!
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