The chances of success of in vitro fertilization are increased if the men have a healthy diet, high in fruits and grains and low in red meat, alcohol and coffee, according to a Brazilian study on male semen quality.
While the female reproductive problems have been linked to body weight, smoking and alcohol consumption, it was unclear whether the same applied to men couples seeking fertility treatments.
“ The sperm concentration was negatively influenced by the body mass index (BMI) and alcohol , and was positively influenced by the consumption of cereals and the number of daily meals, “said Edson Borges, the Center of Fertility and Assisted Fertilization Sao Paulo, in the journal Fertility and Sterility .
“ The sperm motility was also negatively influenced by BMI, alcohol consumption and smoking habits , while it was positively influenced by the intake of fruits and cereals, “he added.
BMI is a measure of weight relative to height of a person. The study included 250 men, with their partners, were performing at a type of fertility treatment called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI for its acronym in English).
The researchers asked people how often they ate a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, grains, cereals, meat and fish, plus how much they drank and smoked.
The team also obtained semen samples from men to assess how healthy and well your sperm concentrations were also to record how each step was IVF in each pair.
In about three quarters of the treatments were successfully fertilized eggs, and just under four in 10 women became pregnant during the study. From the speed of their sperm to the possibilities of their partners becoming pregnant, men with the worst diets were harmed in the treatment of fertility , the researchers said.
Being overweight and drinking alcohol was associated with lower sperm concentration and motility , which is the ability of sperm to swim, while smoking was associated only with negative effects on motility. The alcohol and coffee intake were associated with a reduced chance of fertilization.
Similarly, rates of embryo implantation and pregnancy were much lower when the men ate lots of red meat . On the other hand, eating more cereals such as wheat, oats and barley was associated with better concentration and sperm motility. The fruit was associated with improvements in speed and agility sperm.
“We talked about having a healthy lifestyle and try to remove any of these things that are unhealthy , but I think the emphasis is often on ensuring that women are as healthy as possible, “said Lynn Westphal, specialist female fertility health and Medical Center Stanford University in California.
“I think this information is really interesting, because the lifestyle factors of men, even when performing ICSI, are important,” he said.
The results are consistent with the idea that certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids help maintain or improve the quality of semen , while excessive consumption of alcohol and certain hormones processed meat could be harmful to the semen, wrote Borges.
In couples who undergo fertility treatments both men and women should know that their diets and lifestyles affect their chances of achieving a successful pregnancy , the researcher concluded.