Your Health determines Your Sperm’s Health and your Fertility
We hear it time and again these days – diet is the way to improve your health. But which diet? Paleo? Keto? Whole foods?
It can be confusing to figure out how best to eat.
Ideally, if you are suffering from low sperm count, low motility or viscosity issues you would work with a Natural Fertility Specialist to boost your sperm health, as you may need more than just dietary changes (e.g. heavy metal detox and/or mineral deficiency). Although there are other significant factors that influence sperm health, diet is one of the easiest to change.
Today we are going to take a peek into the science behind sperm health and diet.
Unfortunately, even though there is a worldwide decline in sperm counts, there hasn’t been a lot of information made available to men (or doctors) about the relationship between diet and sperm health.
However, we do have studies that clearly point to the fact that a healthy diet means increased sperm parameters.
The DASH Diet
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. In a study published in 2019, the sperm parameters of 209 men who ate either a Mediterranean Diet or a DASH diet were compared. It is important to note that none of the men suffered from hypertension (aka high blood pressure).
Researchers in this study found statistically significant increases in sperm concentration, count and motility for those that followed the DASH diet compared to the Mediterranean Diet. Changing your diet is a good place to start. Down below you can find a link to a beginner’s guide for the DASH diet.
Other Dietary Factors and Sperm
Sugar and Fat
Sugar- industrial, refined sugars, and fake sugars are acidic in nature and disrupt insulin balance. A Harvard study found that drinking as little as one sugar-sweetened drink a day can decrease sperm count by up to 20%.
Not only does it affect your sperm health, but also your cardiovascular health.
In addition, sugar greatly affects sperm motility. Motility = movement. That means the more sugar you consume, the less your sperm can move!
Check how many grams of sugar is in your drinks/food/etc and drop the sugar habit. Keep in mind that 4g of sugar = 1 teaspoon.
You don’t eat a lot of sugar? Think again! Where is sugar hiding in your diet?
* packaged foods- all of them have sugar – even potato chips!
* -ose ending foods (fructose, lactose, maltose, etc)
* high fructose corn syrup. Avoid it at all costs. It goes right into the blood stream and creates havoc with your blood insulin levels. It is an inexpensive form of sugar used by the food industry and is harmful to your (sperm) health.
What about fruit, it has sugar, right? Fruit great because the natural sugars bind to fibre which helps to clear out the colon and clear toxins while adding vital vitamins and minerals to your diet. Keep the fruit, ditch the processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Microcirculation in the small veins of the testicles is affected by diet, particularly fat. This is where the type of fat you consume becomes important – particularly the type of oil.
The only oils that are good for your microcirculation/ blood vessel health are: cold-pressed extra virgin oil for cold to warm food, coconut oil to cook at medium heat, and ghee for cooking at high heat.
Fat from animal protein is best when it is kept to once a day and a moderate amount.
Avoid soy at all costs. Soy sold in the west is typically not fermented or organic. Genetically modified unfermented soy is bad for health as the phytoestrogens it contains increases the overall estrogen in your body. Yes, you have estrogen in your body, too not just the ladies. But too much is not a good thing.
The problem is not just soy, but soy isoflavins which are in everything from medication, tomato sauce, mountain Dew (please tell me you don’t drink that, it’s nasty!), packaged foods and so-called “health” food.
Edamame snacks, soy milk, soy burgers, soy yogurt, soy hot dogs, NO, NO, and hell no!
Caffeine – harmful to sperm
There is strong evidence that caffeine negatively affects fertility in men and women. Caffeine can cause damage to sperm DNA. Isn’t that reason enough to stay away from it?
Specialty coffees are high in caffeine, served in large cups and typically are topped with a ton of sugar and soy milk. That is obviously a bad choice for the reasons mentioned above.
Energy Drinks and Sport Beverages
Contain a ton of caffeine, sugar, and harmful color additives. Not good for your body or your sperm health. It is also a shockingly high level of caffeine which is hard on the body to begin with. Drop the Red Bull for your overall health and the health of your sperm!
Overweight men have lower sperm counts. Fat can increase the amount of estrogen in the body as compared to testosterone and this has a negative effect on sperm parameters. The best thing you can do is go on the DASH diet and exercise in order to lose weight.
Supplements for Sperm Health
See my YouTube video for more information on this topic.
It is necessary to not only improve your diet but to detox heavy metals and to have mineral deficiencies addressed. Diet alone, although a great place to start, is for the majority of men in my clinic not enough to get their sperm parameters to the desired range. The good news is: a multi-layered approach often brings the desired results.
Beginners Guide to the DASH Diet
“Adherence to Diet Quality indices in Relation to Semen Quality and Reproductive Hormones in Young Men,” Human Reproduction, 27 Sept 2019
Malik VS, Hu FB, “Fructose and Cardiometabolic Health: What the Evidence from Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tells Us,” Journal of American Colleges Cardiology, 6 October 2015
Chiu, Afeice, et al, “Sugar sweetened beverage intake in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in men,” Human Reproduction, July 2014
Diet and Fertility: A Review, Am J Obstet Gynecol 2017 Aug 24, AJ Gaskins, JE Chavarro https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/diet-and-fertility-a-review/57627/62
Chavarro, Thoth, Sadio, Hauser, Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18650557
Food,sugar related to (Sermondade et al., 2013) to decreased fertility in natural (Sallmen et al., 2006; Nguyen et al., 2007) and assisted conception (Bakos et al., 2011; Colaci et al., 2012).
This is information is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical health professional with any health concerns or ailments.