Diet Impact on Male Fertility

Does Diet Affect Sperm?

The essential fatty acids that play a role in the prevention of heart disease may also improve a male’s chances for paternity success, according to a new research paper published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Using artificial insemination techniques, researchers compared the competitiveness of sperm from guppies fed a diet rich in omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids with that of guppies fed a diet poor in the fatty acid. The results made it clear that the males fed the omega-3 diet enjoyed far greater success in siring offspring than their nutritionally deficient peers. According to Jon Evans, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Western Australia and one of the reports co-authors, these findings may have implications for a wide array of species because this essential fatty acid has been linked to several traits important to reproduction.

“This study is looking at a fish species, so it is not definitively relatable to human male fertility. But, the findings involving the impact of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on the fertility in this species are certainly intriguing. It begs the question of whether further study in human trials are warranted,” says Dr. Parviz Kavoussi, an Austin, Texas, reproductive urologist who is widely recognized for his own research in the areas of sexual medicine and male fertility.

“We do know that sperm cells are some of the most sensitive cells in a man’s body. They can easily be affected by environmental exposures, toxins, lifestyle and diet,” explains Dr. Kavoussi. Infertility, which is diagnosed when a couple actively trying to establish a pregnancy fail to do so, can have several causes. For men, infertility can result from medications, infections, hormonal imbalances, genetic issues or environmental toxins. Physical problems like an ejaculation issue, a varicocele or a blocked duct can also trigger fertility troubles. Infertility specialists work to identify any underlying medical issues and correct them. Treatments used to increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy can include surgical fixes, sperm retrieval, and changes to lifestyle or medications.

As a board certified physician at Austin Fertility Reproductive Medicine/Westlake IVF, the nation’s only private fertility center that offers couples care from fellowship trained specialists in both male and female infertility, Dr. Kavoussi provides his patients with expert evaluations and care in matters of male infertility and sexual health. Active in patient care, research and academics, he is an acknowledged leader in the field of reproductive urology.

To make arrangements for a personal male infertility consultation with Dr. Kavoussi, call Austin Fertility and Reproductive Medicine/Westlake IVF at (512) 444-1414.