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Study: Eating Walnuts Improves Sperm Quality

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A study at UCLA suggests that a daily dose of walnuts can improve sperm quality. (ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)

A study at UCLA suggests that a daily dose of walnuts can improve sperm quality. (ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTE (CBS Charlotte) – Consuming two-and-a-half ounces of walnuts every day improves sperm vitality, motility and morphology in young men, according to a study at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

In a group of healthy young men between 21-35 years of age, those eating walnuts in the study experienced improved blood lipid profiles which reinforces these previous studies and provides one more reason to include walnuts in the daily diet.

“These findings are not surprising when you look at the nutritious content of walnuts, however the results are amazing considering the impact they might have on men of all ages, including older men, and men with impaired fertility,” said co-investigator and UCLA Associate Professor of Medicine and Nursing Dr. Catherine Carpenter. “The positive finding of walnuts on sperm may be a result of their unique nutrient profile.”

Throughout history, food has been tied to human reproductive success; however most of the emphasis has been on the maternal diet and very little focus has been given to the paternal diet. According to Dr. Robbins, science is suggesting that a father’s diet not only impacts fertility, but can also influence the health of the child and future generations. It appears the nutrition status of fathers can be passed down trans-generationally and affect the health of generations to come.

“Healthy diet and nutrition are essential for reproductive health,” commented registered dietitian and father Milton Stokes. “I advise my male clients trying to have children to include walnuts in their diet on a daily basis to promote healthy offspring.”

The randomized, parallel two-group dietary intervention trial evaluated the effect of 75 grams of walnuts/day on semen quality. The study included 117 healthy young men who routinely eat a Western-style diet. Approximately half consumed the 75 grams of walnuts per day for 12 weeks, while the remaining half served as the control group. After 12 weeks, compared to the control group, the walnut group experienced improvement in sperm vitality, motility, and morphology – key components in male fertility.

These findings are of particular interest to the 70 million couples worldwide who experience sub-fertility or infertility. According to this study, 30 to 50 percent of these cases are attributed to the male partner, and in the United States the prevalence of men seeking help for fertility is estimated at 3.3 – 4.7 million.

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