Friday, August 17, 2012

Are walnuts good for sperm?

No journal source mentioned so difficult to evaluate.  The effect was tiny and may have been a Rosenthal effect if the study was not double blind

Men who want to increase their  fertility levels might benefit from eating walnuts, according to a study.

Researchers in America asked a group of young men in their 20s and 30s to eat a 75g packet every day for three months.  Compared with a group of men who avoided walnuts, they managed to increase their sperm count and its quality, potentially giving them a  better chance of fathering a child.

Scientists at the University of California chose walnuts because they are a major source of ‘good’ polyunsaturated fats.  They are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 – also found in oily fish – which are thought to be good for sperm development and function but are lacking in many Western diets.

One in six couples struggle to conceive, and it is thought around 40 per cent of these problems are due to problems with the man’s sperm.

Professor Wendie Robbins, of UCLA’s School of Public Health, said as the 117 volunteers were healthy non-smokers, it was not clear that walnuts would help with fertility problems, but it had a positive effect.

The researchers analysed the men’s sperm concentration, how strongly they swam and their genetic makeup.  Those eating walnuts saw a modest 3 per cent average increase in sperm swimming, compared with no increase in the group who did not eat walnuts.

And fewer of the walnut eaters were seen with aneuploidy – a  disorder where sperm have too many or too few chromosomes.

Allan Pacey, a fertility expert at the University of Sheffield, said the study found only a ‘quite modest’ increase in sperm count.  ‘I would be cautious about recommending this as a therapy for infertility until it has been studied further,’ he added


Powerful new drug eases pain and inflammation of arthritis sufferers

A powerful new drug that could bring relief to hundreds of thousands of -Britons crippled by rheumatoid arthritis is being developed.

Patients taking the pill, -tofacitinib, suffered less pain and inflammation than those on today's best treatments.

Scientists say it was also more effective at slowing -damage to joints after results of an ongoing clinical trial of nearly 1,000 sufferers showed the pill is 'superior' to the common treatment methotrexate, or MTX.

Tofacitinib targets pathways in the cells that regulate inflammation. And, unlike many treatments for rheumatoid arthritis - which affects around 400,000 Britons - it can be taken orally instead of by injection.

Half of those on the trial had fewer symptoms than those on MTX and -displayed less joint damage.

Judith Brodie, chief executive of UK charity Arthritis Care, told the Daily Express: 'This looks very promising. Anything that can make a difference to people with rheumatoid arthritis is hugely important.'

The disease, in which the body's immune system attacks the joints, can strike at a young  age, unlike the more common osteoarthritis, which mainly strikes older people.

It usually affects hands and feet, although any of the body's joints can become inflamed and painful.

Tofacitinib, still in the developmental stage, belongs to a new group of drugs called Janus kinases, which can be used to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.

The current more common treatment involves painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs which tackle the pain and swelling.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDS - of which methotrexate is the most common - are used to slow down the progression of the disease and joint damage.

Tofacitinib is being reviewed by regulators in the U.S., Europe and Japan. If approved, it would become the first new-generation inhibitor treatment drug on the market.

A spokesman for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which has developed the drug, said: 'Tofacitinib is a novel, oral small molecule Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor that is being investigated as an immunomodulator and disease-modifying therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

'Tofacitinib is currently under review by several regulatory agencies around the world, including in the European Medicines Agency.'

Rheumatoid arthritis is less common than osteoarthritis, which affects around 8.5 million Britons.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition associated with age, treated by exercise and painkillers.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Backed by FDA panel, but is it worth the side effects?

Tofacitinib: FDA Panel Backs Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug tofacitinib