Other recent studies have linked improvements in sperm quality to diets rich in polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3, antioxidants including vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc, and folate, all of which are abundant in nuts.
The results, presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Barcelona, showed that a diet rich in nuts can boost sperm count almost 20 per cent, sperm vitality almost five per cent, sperm motility by six per cent, and morphology by one percent. 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 randomized trial with a high level of scientific evidence, Salas-Huetos emphasized that subjects in the study were all healthy and apparently fertile men following a western-style diet. And about 40-50% of infertility cases are related to problems in men.
For the study, researchers recruited 119 men aged 18-35, who they divided into two groups.
The findings, say the investigators, "support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality" and reflect a research need for further male-specific dietary recommendations. Others followed the diet, in which nuts were included very rarely.
"Including nuts in a regular diet significantly improved the sperm count, vitality, motility, and morphology, partly explained by a reduction of the DNA fragmentation", scientists wrote in a release.
The results of this new study confirm previous research carried out in 2013 by the researchers from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA University in California, USA, which also revealed that a considerable quantity of nuts, consumed daily, would improve the sperm quality and male fertility, in general.
These four parameters, Salas-Huetos said, are all associated with male fertility.
"The results of our study could potentially help couples' chances of conceiving", said Albert Salas-Huetos, who led the study at the University Rovira and Virgili in Reus, Spain.
"But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception - and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet", he said. This study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Food Council.
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.
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