About one in six couples is infertile and 40 percent of these cases are due to the male factor, as per statistics of the American Society of Reproductive Health. Now a new study by researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing has revealed that eating two handful of walnuts could boost men's fertility by improving sperm quality.
According to the researchers, though numerous studies had identified the connection between nutrition and reproductive outcomes in women, this link had not been clear in the case of men, especially those who consumed a Western-style diet. This is the first study that looked at the effects of a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, considered essential fatty acids, on sperm.
As part of a 12-week study, 117 men between the ages of 21 and 35 were divided into two groups. While both the groups ate a Western-style diet, 75 grams of whole-shelled walnuts became part of the daily diet of one group, while the other group continued with its usual diet, taking care to avoid eating tree nuts.
Wendie Robbins, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health and lead author of the study said, "We found a significant improvement in sperm parameters in the group that consumed the walnuts. The men who ate no tree nuts saw no change."
Walnuts are a rich source of a-linolenic acid, a natural plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers believe this could be the reason behind the improvement observed in sperm vitality, motility, morphology.
The researchers are now looking to work with couples who are attending infertility clinics to determine if placing men on a walnut diet improves the chances of conceiving.
The study appeared in the papers in press section of the Journal Biology of Reproduction on August 15.
by RTT Staff Writer
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