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HEALTH AND RESEARCH

Obesity, unclean eating may lower your sperm count

Some form of physical activity is a good recommendation for essentially all men trying to conceive.

In Summary

• It shows that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than inactive men.

• Some form of physical activity is a good recommendation for essentially all men trying to conceive.

Image: file

It has been confirmed that men all over the world are experiencing declining semen quality, which is commonly referred to as an outright fertility crisis.

However, there may be some good news for some of the males who are having difficulties, as researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Hvidovre Hospital reveal that men who lose weight improve their sperm quality, plus making a couple of other lifestyle changes.

A growing number of men visiting fertility clinics in Nairobi are being diagnosed with having no sperm in their semen.

A study at the Kenyatta National Hospital shows this is one of the fastest-growing causes of infertility.

In 2013, only 7.6 per cent of men at the KNH fertility clinic had no sperm in their semen, but in 2018, the number doubled to 14.12 percent.

“It was surprising to us that such a big improvement can be shown in the semen quality in connection with a weight loss. And as 18 per cent of Danes have obesity, this new knowledge may make a difference,” says Professor Signe Torekov who headed the study together with Professor Romain Barres at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.

Since 1973, sperm concentration for Western men has fallen by more than 52 per cent, declining by 1.4 per cent each year on average.
Since 1973, sperm concentration for Western men has fallen by more than 52 per cent, declining by 1.4 per cent each year on average.
Image: FILE

The new results may be excellent news for fertility, since a correlation between increased sperm count and faster pregnancy attainment has already been shown.

In another interview done by the Star with Dr. Jamleck Muthuuri of Mombasa, whose study of male infertility in Kenya features prominently in the continental analysis, he attributed low sperm count to modern lifestyle.

The latter study was published in the prestigious journal Human Reproduction, which is highly ranked in the area of fertility research showed a total of 56 obese males aged 18-65 years with a BMI between 32 and 43 took part in the study.

Is sustained weight loss necessary?

“Previous studies have also suggested a link between weight loss and increased semen quality, but these studies have had so few participants or such modest weight loss that it has been difficult to conclude them,” Signe Torekov said.

“But now we are ready to do just that. This is the first long-term randomized study, where we have shown that semen quality in men with obesity improves with a sustained weight loss.”

Torekov said that men who lost an average of 16.5 kg increased their sperm concentration by 50 per cent and their sperm count by 40 per cent eight weeks after the weight loss.

“During the 52 weeks, the trial lasted following the weight loss, the men maintained the improved semen quality. But only the men who maintained the weight loss: after a year, these men had twice as many sperm cells as before their weight loss. The men who regained weight lost the improvements in semen quality,” she said.

Eating healthy and exercising have been proved to boost sperm quality.

It shows that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than inactive men.

Therefore, some form of physical activity is a good recommendation for essentially all men trying to conceive.

Harvard study shows that men who ate a generally healthy diet, including lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, and chicken had higher total sperm counts