Sperm have great difficulty finding their way out of a fat man
Too many fatty foods are dangerous not only to men’s waistlines, but to their sperm production.
In research presented on Wednesday at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, scientists found that obese men have worse sperm than normal-weight men.
“There is a very long list of health hazards from being overweight,” said Ghiyath Shayeb, the study’s lead researcher at the University of Aberdeen. “Now we can add poor semen quality to the list.”
But experts aren’t sure if that necessarily means obese men face major difficulties having children.
“If you have a man who isn’t fantastically fertile with a normal partner who is fertile, her fertility will compensate,” said William Ledger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Britain’s University of Sheffield, who was unconnected to the study. But if both partners are heavy, Ledger said that could be a problem, since obesity is known to decrease women’s fertility.
Shayeb and colleagues analyzed the sperm samples of more than 5,000 men in Scotland, and divided the men into groups according to their Body Mass Index. Men who had an optimal BMI (20 to 25) had higher levels of normal sperm than those who were overweight or obese. Fat men had a 60% higher chance of having a low volume of semen, according to Shayeb’s research. They also had a 40% higher chance of having some sperm abnormalities.
Shayeb and colleagues found that underweight men were just as likely to have the same problems as obese men.
The researchers adjusted their analysis to account for other factors that could have affected men’s sperm count, like smoking, alcohol intake, history of drug abuse, and age. “Male fitness and health are clearly linked to a man’s fertility,” said Neil McClure, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Queen’s University in Belfast.
Via The Times