Monday, October 20, 2014

More Fruits and Vegetables; Lower Sperm Count

It’s not quite the equivalent of the female biological clock—because men can influence it by behavior—but some men engage in a practice that lowers sperm count.

What would that be?

They eat too many fruits and vegetables, and not enough animal protein. That is to say, they are vegetarians.

Now, we all know that a very healthy diet tends to contribute to increased longevity, but apparently, a man who gains those extra years pays for it with his sperm count. Worse yet, the sperm vegetarian men are less mobile than those of their meat-eating comrades.

The Daily Telegraph reports on the latest study:

Vegetarians and vegans may be harming their chance of having children after a study found that men who do not eat meat have significantly reduced sperm counts.

Although a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can protect against many illnesses and can prolong life, it appears that it may also harm fertility.

Researchers at Loma Linda University Medical School, in southern California, embarked on a four-year project to find out how diets affect sperm.

The region has a high population of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians who believe that meat is impure and so are strict vegetarians.

Seventh-day Adventists live an average of 10 years longer than the American life expectancy of about 79 years and the researchers wanted to find out if their astonishing longevity might be linked to sperm quality.

However they found the opposite. Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml.

They also had lower average sperm motility – the number of sperm which are active. Only one third of sperm were active for vegetarians and vegans compared with nearly 60 per cent for meat eaters.

If a man replaces T-bones with soy protein, he will pay a price.

Soy contains phyto-oestrogens which have similar properties to the female hormone oestrogen.

An alternative explanation comes to us from Harvard University:

Separate research from Harvard University also found that a diet high in fruit and vegetables may impact fertility because men are consuming high quantities of pesticides.

This news might make your day. It might cause you serious reflection. You might not care at all.

I report; you decide.


Ares Olympus said...

It doesn't look like a very controlled study or very large, and for all we know nonvegetarians might eat more fruits than vegetarians. And a real test would follow a FEW people who are willing to CHANGE their diets.

Of late I have had one healthnut friends share article about some chemical in soy, which I didn't worry about, since I don't eat soy, although I did look enough to read the same chemical was in higher concentrations in nuts!

As crazy as we are, at least we don't (yet) have to kill endangered rhinos for our fertility, but our demon haunted world is a stone's throw away if our statistical science fails us!

In the meantime, everything in moderation, right?
"26 vegetarians, 5 vegans, and 443 non-vegetarians were compared"

Dennis said...

One of the reasons:

Could be one of the reasons all males in this country are having decreases in sperm counts:

We have such high levels of estrogen in a good percentage of our country's environment and little attention to its overall affect on people. Ever wonder why young girls seem to be endowed so early in life now?

Brigitte Landou said...

I agree with the comment above. The research doesn't seem to be very well substantiated.
But the article/ report is not very thorough either.
It mentions the Harvard research on Pesticide infested food only at the very end as an incidental alternative to what affects men's fertility. In reality, it has been scientifically established that GMO food heavily sprayed with pesticides are not only affecting fertility in animals but are also carcinogenic.
Vegans are essentially careful with their consumption of rich in protein ORGANIC AND NON GMO vegetables such as beans and fruits. Are the non meat eating 7th day Adventist Christians so concerned about GMO food sprayed with pesticides? A thorough research should study these two groups first before establishing that a vegetarian diet leads to low sperm court and mobility.
Good reporting should not be frivolous. Informing the public about the dangers of consuming GMO food and the pesticides that come with them seems more important than reporting on a flimsy research by a local university on Adventist Christians' diet that could affect fertility in men!
Even more crucial is the genocide of bees caused by the pesticides used in humongous quantities on GMO crops on extremely large rural areas. Without bees, we won't be able to grow food!
Instead of being worried about men's low sperm count in vegetarian populations, it would be more judicious to worry about the future of our crops, land, food, and environment poisoned by corporate greed. Without a healthy environment, longevity and low sperm count are no longer relevant in any debate.

Sam L. said...

I await the next study, which will refute this one, and be no more well-sourced or substantiated.