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Fatty Foods Might Harm Men's Sperm, Research Suggests
Date:3/14/2012

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Could the fatty foods a man eats harm his fertility? So says a new study that finds chowing down on high-fat meals reduces a man's sperm levels.

The study was small, including just 99 American men who were divided into three groups based on their overall consumption of fat.

Those with the highest daily fat intake had a 43 percent lower total sperm count and 38 percent lower sperm concentration than those with the lowest fat intake, according to the study published online March 14 in the journal Human Reproduction.

"Although this study is limited by the number of patients evaluated, I do think it tells us something important in that it reminds us that male fertility is delicate and can be easily influenced by the same things that influence our general health," said Dr. Joseph Alukal, director of male reproductive health at NYU Langone Medical Center and assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine, New York City.

"It is one more good piece of evidence reminding us that simple health interventions like diet and exercise can be beneficial with regard to improving sperm counts and having a child," added Alukal, who was not involved in the new study.

Total sperm count refers to the total number of sperm in the ejaculate, while sperm concentration is the number of sperm in a certain amount of semen.

The World Health Organization defines normal total sperm count as at least 39 million sperm in the ejaculate and normal sperm concentration as at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

Saturated fats appeared to be the major factor linked to semen quality in the study. Men who consumed the most saturated fats had a 35 percent lower total sperm count and a 38 percent lower sperm concentration than those who ate the least saturated fat, the researchers found.

Study author Jill Attaman agreed the findings underscore the importance of a healthy
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