Increase in Physical Activity Can Help Improving Men’s Fertility
Certainly, men who spend more time in physical activity or exercising outdoors tended to have a higher sperm count in their sperm than an average concentration. That is according to the newest study presented this week by a doctoral student, Audrey Gaskins, at the Harvard School of Public Health. However, the study will be presented later this week at the mutual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and Federation of Fertility Societies, which will be conducted in Boston. Researchers also stated that they didn’t ascertain any relation between two lifestyle habits that previously had major influence on sperm: intake of alcohol and caffeine. These intriguing new findings are based on surveys, which emphasized on lifestyle and sperm samples. Sperm is considered as healthy only if it has sufficient quantity and quality. However, fertilization is possible only if men’s ejaculate is of good quality including normal structure, shape, and motility, and it is good if it consist more than 15 million sperm per ml, which allows it to waggle into an egg to fertilize. The Mayo Clinic noticed that certain environmental aspects might affect fertility- including heavy drinking, illegal drugs, caffeine, and some medications as well.
To determine the factors that indeed affected men’s sperm quality, researchers decided to study a group of men.
Four different studies were conducted to find the impact of various factors on sperm count.
In the first study, about 150 men were asked to provide their sperm samples and to evaluate the questionnaire about their eating habits. Sperm shape was worse in men who ate one and three servings of processed meat. They also found that men who ate the most white meat fish had better sperm shape than those who ate the least. While those who included dark meat fish in the diet- including tuna, bluefish, and salmon- showed 34 percent higher sperm count than who ate less.
Thus, in the first study researchers found that intake of processed meat lowered sperm quality, while fish improved sperm quantity.
For the next, researchers recruited 166 men aging around 37 and collected almost 400 samples of semen from them. These men were examined on how often they drank caffeine and alcohol beverages. Looking closer at this study, researchers dint find any evidence proving alcohol and caffeine could risk man’s fertility.
Doubting the second study, French scientists gave a further close look at caffeine consumption in the third study. This time they noticed that there was a slight decrease in sperm count and concentration among men, who sip more than three cups of coffee drink in a day.
At last, researchers looked at whether habits like exercise can improve sperm count and quality. Semen samples of 140 men were studied at Harvard School of Public Health.
The findings showed that sperm count had direct and significant relation with exercise. men who practiced the most modest to vigorous workout for seven hours a week had 48 percent higher sperm concentration that those who exercised a week or an hour less.
Although, not all exercises worked wonders: bicycle riding and jogging had no positive effects of sperm counts, instead showed 30% reduction in sperm count because of the pressure that these activities add on the testicles.
But the interesting thing researchers noticed was the increase in sperm count after weightlifting, which triggered due to improved insulin and testosterone levels.