Sunday, November 27, 2011

Men should eat plenty of fruit but cut down on red meat to boost fertility, finds sperm study

A possible class effect here too. Working class people are less obedient to diet pronouncements and are also in poorer health generally anyway. So people with "incorrect" diets have lower sperm motility not because of their diet but because they are working class.

Note also that this is a study of severely infertile men (requiring ICSI) so the generalizability to normals is unknown.

For what it is worth, I participated in 10 IVF treatment cycles in my 40s at a time when I was a heavy drinker. And my sperm fertilized all the eggs every time. And that was unassisted fertilization, not the ICSI described below

Cutting down on red meat, coffee and alcohol can boost a man's fertility scientists say. A study has discovered that a poor diet and obesity can lower sperm concentration and affect their ability to swim towards an egg. Specialists are now encouraging a diet high in fruit and grains to increase the chances of successful IVF treatment.

In the past female fertility problems have been linked to obesity as well as smoking and drinking, but it hasn't been clear before now if the same applies to men.

But the latest study of men with partners who were undergoing a type of fertility treatment, has revealed that those who regularly drank alcohol and ate poorly were slowed down on the fertility front.

Lead researcher Edson Borges, from the Fertility-Assisted Fertilization Center in Sao Paolo said: 'The sperm concentration was negatively influenced by body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption, and was positively influenced by cereal consumption and the number of meals per day.'

The Brazilian study involved 250 men with partners who were undergoing a type of fertility treatment called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Each participant was asked how often they ate a range of foods, including fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, meat and fish, as well as how much they drank and smoked.

Semen samples were then analysed to assess sperm health and concentration and each couple were monitored during the IVF process.

Eggs were successfully fertilised in about three-quarters of the treatments, and just under forty per cent of women got pregnant during the study.

From the speed of their sperm to their partner's chance of pregnancy, men who drank and had a poor diet were less fertile.

Lynn Westphal, a women's health and fertility specialist at Stanford University hopes that the results, published in the Fertility and Sterility journal, will encourage men to make healthier lifestyle choices.

'We talk about having a healthy lifestyle and trying to eliminate any of these things that are bad for health, but I think most of the emphasis tends to be on making sure the woman is as healthy as possible. 'I think this is really interesting data that lifestyle factors for men, even when you're doing ICSI, are significant.

'This is probably more of a difference than most people would have thought.'


Shoppers ignore health warnings on food and buy whatever they want, study finds

How frustrating to the health Fascists!

Most shoppers ignore nutritional labels labels on food packets and simply buy what they like, a new study claims. The findings are a blow to the UK government, which has pressurised food manufacturers to display calorie, fat and salt content prominently on packaging so that consumers can make healthier choices.

Schemes include the voluntary 'traffic light system,' which rates how healthy food is by using red, orange or green labels.

Researchers from the Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life (FLABEL) investigated 37,000 products in five potentially unhealthy types of food, including biscuits, chilled ready meals and fizzy drinks.

They found Britain had the highest proportion of nutritional information on packaging, with more than 95 per cent including it on the back of packs, and 82 per cent on the front.

However, the research also found that most shoppers understand perfectly well how healthy various foods are with only the bare minimum of nutritional information.

In a further blow to the costly schemes, the authors discovered that people who said they understood or liked the various labelling schemes were happy to ignore them and buy the food they liked best, regardless of how unhealthy it was.

FLABEL advisor Professor Klaus Grunert, from Aarhus University in Denmark called on food companies to put clear information on the front of packs for maximum impact. However, he conceded that even this wouldn't make shoppers to dump the junk, saying: 'Motivation was a major factor affecting the impact of nutrition labels on the choices made by consumers.

'When prompted, consumers were able to identify which products were healthier, but they did not use this information to choose which product they prefer. 'A lack of consumer motivation, therefore, is one factor standing in the way of healthy food choices resulting from nutrition labelling.'


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