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Western diet lowers sperm counts
Eating a lot of pizza, chips and burgers lowers sperm count in young healthy men, Independent reports.
A new study finds that eating a Western diet that is typically full of pizza, chips, burgers can cause permanent damage to young men’s ability to produce sperm. That is, when they eat so much of a Western diet, they can have lower sperm counts forever.
The study conducted by Swiss and U.S. researchers shows men had 25 million fewer sperm per ejaculation if they follow a diet full of processed foods like processed meat and sugary drinks, meat like red meat, and starchy carbohydrates, compared to those who eat the least amount of these foods.
Young, healthy men who eat a lot of pizza chips and burgers and other processed foods can have much lower sperm counts than those who eat more fresh foods, according to the study.
The study compared a few types of diets and found the typical Western diet is among the worst.
Western diet has already linked to higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The current study provides an explanation as to why Western men have lowered their average sperm counts by 60% since 1970s.
The study was based on data from 3000 men at an average age of 19 who submitted their sperm samples as part of routine medical exam before admitted into the Danish armed forces.
The study found that men who followed a prudent balanced diet with lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables had the highest total sperm count. The next best diet is vegetarian diet which includes soy and eggs followed by a Scandinavian diet which consists of more processed meats, whole grains, cold water fish and dairy products.
Keep in mind that soy is not a good dietary component for sperm counts. Studies have found an inverse association between soy intake and sperm counts. That is, high soy intake was linked to lower sperm counts.