Infertility is a major clinical concern, affecting 15% of all reproductive-age couples. Pollution, smoking and trends toward a Western-style diet (generally characterized by processed and refined foods, high in sugar, salt, saturated fat and protein from processed and red meat) are hypothesized as potential causes of infertility. Nuts have an interesting nutrient profile, which has been found to be involved in the modulation of several mechanisms that could also be linked to male fertility. For this reason, this study, recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, evaluated the effect of chronic consumption of a 60 g/day mixture of tree nuts (30 g of walnuts, 15 g of almonds and 15 g of hazelnuts) on several sperm quality parameters[i].
The 119 healthy males, aged 18-35, included in the randomized, controlled study were assigned to either a group that followed their usual Western-style diet supplemented with 60 g/day of tree nuts (nut group), or to a group that followed their usual Western-style diet, avoiding the consumption of nuts (control group).
Samples and dietary information were collected in four visits throughout the 14 weeks of intervention. Sperm quality parameters were compared between the nut group and the control group, and results showed that nut consumers had an improvement in those parameters when compared with non-nut consumers.
The study concluded that the supplementation of a Western-style diet with nuts improved sperm quality parameters among healthy reproductive-aged people.
"Regular consumption of nuts seems to improve sperm quality by decreasing DNA fragmentation," said Dr. Mònica Bulló, researcher at Rovira i Virgili University and principal investigator of this research.
This study was supported by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.
About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council
INC members include more than 800 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 70 countries. INC is the leading international organization regarding health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, international standards and regulations in the nut and dried fruit sector.
i. Salas-Huetos, A., Moraleda, R., Giardina, S.,
Anton, E., Blanco, J., Salas-Salvadó, J., Bulló, M. (2018). Effect of nut
consumption on semen quality and functionality in healthy men consuming a
Western-style diet: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of