Carbs and dairy may lower sperm health

by Joshua Bryne

Carbs and dairy may lower sperm health

When it comes to getting pregnant, some couples may have a harder time than others, and there are various factors that play into fertility, such as sperm health, that may impact their chances. For instance, a man's diet can affect his sperm's likelihood of fertilizing a woman's egg.

In particular, dairy and carbohydrates may lessen the quality of sperm, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health recruited nearly 200 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 22 who were physically active. They found that half of the total calories participants consumed were from carbohydrates, HealthDay News reported.

In addition, they discovered that the more carbs a man consumed, the lower his sperm count.

The study's investigators also looked at dairy and observed that the more dairy a participant ate, the lower his chances of having healthy sperm were.

Diet also affects women
Other new studies looked at how carbohydrate consumption affects a female's chances of pregnancy. In the past, studies have found that eating less carbs and more protein increases a woman's chances of getting pregnant from in vitro fertilization.

"For one thing, we've known for years, from the female perspective, that the quality of nutrition that a woman takes in at the time of conception or even before conception has an influence on that child's health long-term in all sorts of ways. So, it shouldn't be surprising that nutrition would have an impact on men and the quality of their sperm, which is basically made by protein, or on in vitro pregnancy rates," said Lona Sandon, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Dallas, quoted by HealthDay News.

Tweak your diet before trying to conceive
Although many factors determine a couple's reproductive success, those who know they want to make a baby can try altering their diet before attempting conception. For instance, you can drink skim milk instead of whole milk, or even try a non-dairy option like almond milk. In addition, getting protein through consuming lean meats, seafood and soy products is generally better for your health than relying on carbohydrates alone. In fact, the body needs these foods to get enough amino acids, which help it function properly, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Did you try changing your diet when trying to conceive? What are some protein-rich meal options you can recommend to our readers? Leave your answers in the comments section!