Men may benefit from eating two handfuls of walnuts a day. According to new research, the fatty acids in the nuts improve the shape, movement and vitality of sperm.
The study involved 117 men between the ages of 21 and 35, who were divided into two groups. One group added 75 grams of whole-shelled walnuts to their daily diet. The other group continued their usual diet but avoided eating tree nuts. Both groups ate a typical Western-style diet. After 12 weeks, the researchers investigated the sperm of both groups.
“We found a significant improvement in sperm parameters in the group that consumed the walnuts,” said lead author Wendie Robbins, when interviewed by BBC News. “The men who ate no tree nuts saw no change.”
The results showed that sperm quality was improved in terms of concentration, vitality, movement, shape and chromosome abnormalities. The researchers suspect that the high amount of omega-3 found in walnuts has been responsible for the improvements they observed.
According to BBC News, about one in six couples are infertile, with 40% of these due to a male factor. Therefore, it’s important to study which aspects of a man’s diet can affect the number and quality of sperm. Further research is needed to explore whether a walnut diet really results in better success conceiving.
Source: BBC News
Photo: xtinabot / Flickr
Robbins, WA, Xun, L, FitzGerald, LZ, Esguerra, S, Henning, SM, & Carpenter, CL (2012). Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial Biology of Reproduction DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.112.101634