Male Factor

The consumption of nuts improves the quality of sperm

The consumption of nuts improves the quality of sperm

The consumption of nuts improves the quality of sperm

That is the main conclusion of the study FERTINUTS. Spanish researchers from the Rovira i Virgili University, the Carlos III Health Institute, the Sant Joan de Reus University Hospital and the Autonomous University of Barcelona have participated in this study.

The research analysed the effect of supplementing the diet (Westernized) with a mixture of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds) for 14 weeks to see the effect on the quality and functionality of sperm of healthy men. 119 men between 18 and 35 years old participated in this study. All of them were fed according to the so-called “Western diet”: abundant in meat and fat, but scarce in vegetables and fruit.

Participants in the study were divided into two groups: one maintained their eating habits without variations while the second one was given 60 grams of nuts per day in food.

After 14 weeks, a sample of sperm and blood was requested from the participants and compared with those at the beginning of the study. Those who had consumed nuts had increased the amount of sperm by 16%. In addition, the quality of their sperm was superior, in parameters such as motility, vitality and morphology, which are what a spermiogram measures. On the other hand, men who did not consume nuts showed a reduction in the levels of DNA fragmentation, a parameter associated with infertility.

Nuts are rich in zinc and selenium, two minerals essential for the production of sperm. In addition, they also contain omega 3 fatty acids and folate, which are beneficial for spermatogenesis, as shown by several previous studies.

Reduction of seminal quality

Seminal quality has  reduced by half in the last 40 years, according to a work published in Human Reproduction Update, which stresses that it affects mainly Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders and North Americans. This has resulted in the need for a sperm donor for one in five infertile couples, according to the data of our male patients.

The male factor is the cause of up to 35% of cases of primary sterility and is a factor in another 30% of cases of mixed origin sterility (male and female partners). This reduction in sperm quality has already forced the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish new parameters for male fertility in 2010.

The age of the male also affects the quality of the sperm. This is confirmed by a investigation presented at the last Congress of the ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology), which indicates that in  older men, the pregnancy rate decreases by 20%.

How to improve sperm

Male fertility is threatened by factors such as smoking, pollution, stress and diet far from the Mediterranean lifestyle. Therefore, from ProcreaTec we provide you with some tips to improve the sperm quality.

  • Watch your weight and do some exercise. Obesity and being overweight limit sperm motility.
  • Follow a varied and healthy diet. Opt for fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins E and C, and foods rich in omega 3 (salmon, walnuts or flax seeds). Include calcium and zinc in your diet.
  • Free yourself from stress.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. They are harmful to your health and impair sperm function.

About the author


At ProcreaTec, we understand the road toward a healthy pregnancy is not always easy. Through this blog, we want to reach out to all who are struggling on the path of infertility to find support. If you have any questions or would like to tell us about your situation, you can comment on the posts or send us an e-mail.
If you would like to learn more about our clinic, we invite you to visit our website
ProcreaTec: converting patients into parents.

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