Posted on Sep 19, 2012, 6 a.m.
Eating a handful of walnuts a day may boost male fertility within just a few months.
New research suggests that men suffering from fertility problems may benefit from adding a handful of walnuts to their daily diet. Dr. Wendie Robbins and her colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles investigated whether increasing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are vital for sperm maturation, would increase sperm quality. The researchers enlisted 117 healthy men aged 21-35 who ate a Western-style diet and split them into two groups: the first of which (58 men) were to avoid eating tree nuts and the second (59 men) who were to eat 75 grams of walnuts per day. The researchers chose to use 75 grams/day because previous studies had indicated that 75 grams/day was sufficient to alter blood lipid levels without causing participants to gain weight. Blood lipid levels and semen quality were analyzed before the experiment began and then again 12-weeks later. Results showed that the men who had eaten walnuts had significantly increased levels of omega-6 and omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids in their blood, and improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology. Furthermore, the men who ate the 75 grams/day walnuts also had fewer chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm. The researchers concluded: " Whether adding walnuts to the diet will go beyond the shifts in sperm parameters as seen in this study to improving birth outcomes for men within fertility clinic populations or in the general population is not yet known and will require further research."
Robbins WA, Xun L, Fitzgerald LZ, Esguerra S, Henning SM, Carpenter CL. Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial. Biol Reprod. 2012 Aug 15. [Epub ahead of print]