Vegetarian Diet Lowers Sperm Quality
Men who abstain from eating meat have significantly reduced sperm levels and quality, according to studies presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in Hawaii.
In one four-year study, researchers from Loma Linda University Medical in southern California looked at how diet affected sperm quality in the local region. They hypothesized that this population, which is largely comprised of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians who live a 10 years longer than the average American and abstain from eating meat, would have a greater quality of sperm.
Instead, they concluded in their study that vegetarians and vegan diets were strongly associated with lower sperm count compared to people who ate meat (50 million sperm per mL vs. 70 million sperm per mL, respectively). In addition, they had a lower average sperm motility, with a third of them active compared to almost two-thirds in meat eaters.
In another study, Harvard University researchers found that a diet high in fruits and vegetables could impact fertility due to the consumption of residual pesticides.
The researchers looked at the sperm quality of 155 men who visited the Massachusetts General Fertility Centre between 2007 and 2012. They found that those with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables had 70% lower quality of sperm and 68% lower sperm motility.
Foods that were considered high in pesticides included celery, while among those considered low were avocados.
Vegetarians and vegans may be harming their chance of having children after a study found that men who do not eat meat have significantly reduced sperm counts. Although a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can protect against many illnesses and can prolong life, it appears that it may also harm fertility.
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