Eating a handful of nuts such as almonds, hazelnut and walnuts on a daily basis may significantly improve the quality and function of human sperm, a study has found.
The findings support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality and reflect a research need for further male-specific dietary recommendations.
Researchers from Rovira i Virgili University in Spain in its trial study found that nuts improve sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape).
“These were consistent with improvements found in other recent studies with diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants (eg, vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc), and folate,” the researchers said.
The 14-week study allocated 119 healthy young men aged 18-35 to either their usual western-style diet supplemented with 60 grammes per day of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, or their usual western-style diet without nuts.
The study recorded not just sperm parameters but also changes in several molecular factors, including sperm DNA fragmentation.
The study found significantly higher levels of sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology in the men randomised to the 60 grammes per day nut diet than in those following their usual diets free of nuts. Improvements in the former group were by around 16 per cent in sperm count, four per cent in sperm vitality, six per cent in sperm motility, and one per cent in morphology.
“These four parameters are all associated with male fertility,” said Albert Salas-Huetos from Rovira i Virgili University.
(With inputs from agencies)