GDIFR Blog

By GDIFR Posted in Infertility Monday, 20 January 2020

Diet has rapid effects on sperm quality

Sperm are influenced by diet, and the effects arise rapidly.

This is the conclusion of a study by researchers at Linköping University, in which healthy young men were fed a diet rich in sugar. The study, which has been published in PLOS Biology, gives new insight into the function of sperm, and may in the long term contribute to new diagnostic methods to measure sperm quality.

Sperm quality can be harmed by several environmental and lifestyle factors, of which obesity and related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are well-known risk factors for poor sperm quality.

The study examined 15 normal, non-smoking young men, who followed a diet in which they were given all food from the scientists for two weeks. The diet was based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for healthy eating with one exception: during the second week the researchers’ added sugar induced food every day. The sperm quality and other indicators of the participants' were investigated at the start of the study, after the first week (during which they ate a healthy diet), and after the second week (when the participants had additionally consumed large amounts of sugar).

At the beginning of the study, one third of the participants had low sperm motility. Motility is one of several factors that influence sperm quality, and the fraction of people with low sperm motility in the study corresponded to that in the general population. The researchers were surprised to discover that the sperm motility of all participants became normal during the study.


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