Nuts like almonds increases sperm count, claims study

A variety of nuts can provide protein, calcium, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, omega 3, folate, etc.

Salas-Huetos presented the work at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona this week. The study lasted for almost four months (14 weeks), after which the researchers compared the sperm quality of both groups.

Although these are statistically significant results from a randomised trail with a high level of scientific evidence, Salas-Huetos emphasised that subjects in the study were all healthy and apparently fertile men following a western-style diet.

In addition, the participants who regularly consumed nuts also showed a significant reduction in their levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, which is a factor linked to male infertility.

The analysis, which included more than 40,000 men whose semen samples were screened, found the results "driven by a 50 to 60 per cent decline among men unselected by fertility from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand".

The study followed 119 men between the ages of 18 and 35, and divided them into two groups.

Investigators say the findings "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality", and they say more research is needed on male-specific dietary recommendations. The results showed a 16 percent improvement in sperm count and a four percent improvement in sperm vitality.

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Their sperm vitality also rose by 4 percent, sperm motility by 6 percent and sperm morphology by 1 percent.

At the start of the study as well as the end of the trial at 14 weeks, the sperm count, morphology and DNA fragmentation was noted.

All of these factors help with male fertility, study author Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos of the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira i Virgil in Reus said in a statement.

All of these are the parameters the World Health Organization lists as measurements of sperm quality and are associated with male fertility.

"The fact that the study has taken place is good", said Virginia Bolton, a consultant embryologist at Guy's and St Thomas's hospital in London, "but we need to see this translated into an effect on fertility".

Nuts are important for improving sperm count says study.

"Evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception", Salas-Huetos writes.

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