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Eat More Saturated Fats, Lower Your Sperm Count


A new Danish study suggests that higher saturated fat intake hinders sperm production and quality. Researchers at Rigshospitalet Copenhagen University National Hospital found a link between a diet high in saturated fats — found in foods like cheeses and meats — and shrinking sperm

Additionally, test subjects were broken down into four groups based on calorie intake from saturated fats and individual sperm production. The findings, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that sperm concentration and sperm counts dropped as fat intake increased. Among men who got just over 11 percent of their calories from saturated fats, sperm concentration was 50 million per milliliter of semen with a sperm count of 163 million; that's compared to 45 million sperm per milliliter of semen and a sperm count of 128 million in those who had consumed 15 percent of calories from saturated fat.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that a normal sperm concentration per milliliter of semen is anything above 15 million. Of the Danish men who ate the least saturated fat, 13 percent were below the WHO standard, and among those who ate the most saturated fat, 18 percent fell short.
"We cannot say that it has a causal effect, but I think other studies have shown that saturated fat intake has a connection to other problems and now also for sperm count," Tina Jensen, MD, PhD, lead study author from Rigshospitalet's Department of Growth and Reproduction, told Reuters Health.
A healthy diet has previously been associated with improved sperm production and quality. In 2011, Brazilian scientists discovered a link between eating more whole grains and increased sperm concentration and motility, and a link between eating more fruit and elevated sperm speed and agility.
Smoking and physical activity are also key players in optimal sperm production. Kick the nicotine to the curb and make sure to exercise regularly to maintain "the goods." And don't forget to cut back on saturated fats in general, as they have also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and other conditions.

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