A new study looking at how lifestyle choices affect male fertility found significant connections between the quality of a man's sperm and his diet, alcohol intake, and decision to smoke
A good amount of research has been devoted to the factors that influence a woman's fertility, which include nutrition, alcohol, smoking, body mass index, and environmental toxins. Less is known about how food and lifestyle choices affect male fertility. But a new study investigates these connections, and finds that the quality of sperm is significantly affected by food, drink, and other lifestyle variables.
In the study, the authors followed 250 men who were trying to get their partners pregnant with a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). They quizzed the men about the types of foods they ate and with what frequency, along with other lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking alcohol. They also did tests to determine the concentration and motility of the men's sperm (how well they "swam").
There were some significant links between the men's lifestyles and their sperm quality. Men whose diets were higher in fruit and grains like oats and wheat had more numerous and more motile sperm. On the other hand, men who drank alcohol and those who were overweight had less numerous and less motile sperm. Men who smoked had normal numbers of sperm, but they were less motile than those of nonsmokers.