Is Your Diet Destroying Your Sperm & Testosterone?
It has been heavily reported how sperm counts have been rapidly dropping in the modern-day, and while the jury is still out on exactly why – although plastic products and porn are the likely culprits – new research shows that low sperm counts are being massively affected by modern-day diets.
Researchers at Linköping University fed healthy young men a diet rich in sugar, a diet most Western men have today.
Head of the study Anita Öst said: “We see that diet influences the motility of the sperm, and we can link the changes to specific molecules in them. Our study has revealed rapid effects that are noticeable after one to two weeks.”
In a previous study, the scientists showed that male fruit flies that had consumed excess sugar shortly before mating more often produced offspring who became overweight.
Similar studies on mice have suggested that small fragments of RNA known as tsRNA play a role in these epigenetic phenomena that appear in the next generation.
These RNA fragments are present in unusually large amounts in the sperm of many species, including humans, fruit flies and mice.
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, corresponding to around 3.5 litres of fizzy drinks, or 450 grams of confectionery, every day.
The sperm quality and other indicators of the participants’ health 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).