You can imagine this kind of conversation:
Dr A: Nutrition improves body function. Omega-3s are good…
Dr B: I doubt it but I have heard rumors; something about reducing risk of heart disease.
Dr A: Not just that, all body function. Even sexual performance and fertility.
Dr B: How can that be?
Dr A: Sexual performance is part of body function…
Dr B: The dirty stuff? That’s not physiology!
I despair sometimes of my colleagues. Don’t they get it? Physiology is all of body function: everything. Penises, ovaries, testicles and vulva!
Now they have made a wonderful discovery: if you eat right, you can be more fertile!
It’s been in my health books since 1985 but it’s still considered ludicrous. Pre-conceptual nutrition is vital for healthy reproduction. Vets know this. Animals in poor shape are never sent to stud. But humans?
Males in the most deplorable condition, obese from beer, grease and carbohydrates, get to mate with women who eat junk and couldn’t produce nutrient milk if their lives depended on it. It’s frightening.
Of course most of us boomers are not interested in reproduction—but our kids are!
Now a new study shows that eating walnuts improves sperm quality [I know, I know, I’ve been trying to think of a joke about a man’s “nuts”—but gave up].
It shouldn’t be a big surprise but to many doctors it seems to be a revelation, that good nutrition improves ALL aspects of body function. As I said, veterinaries know it. But it never occurs to doctors we too are animals and need the same care. As I wrote elsewhere (after reading a cue by my friend Lynne McTaggart), there is more nutrition in pet food than human food; in fact many times the recommended RDAs.
Oh yes, getting to the point, the study… It was published online Aug. 15, 2012. Attaman, J. Human Reproduction, May 2012.
Eating 2.5 ounces of walnuts (10 – 12 nuts) a day for 3 months improved sperm quality in healthy young men, the researchers reported.
Walnuts are the only nuts with appreciable levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which some studies of male infertility have linked to better sperm quality.
Previous research has shown that men with poor sperm counts saw improvement after taking fish oil supplements high in omega-3 fats. And a study of men attending a fertility clinic, published in May by the journal Human Reproduction, found that high intake of omega-3 fats was linked to more normal sperm size and shape, while high intake of saturated fats was related to lower sperm concentration.
Eaters snacked on the shelled whole nuts straight out of the package, mixed them with applesauce and cinnamon in a blender or chopped them up and added them to meatloaf, hamburger, and spaghetti sauce.
Before and after the experiment, the men’s semen quality was analyzed by researchers looking at sperm concentration, vitality, ability to move, shape and size, and chromosome abnormalities, all thought to be related to fertility.
At the end of the 12-week study, sperm quality improved only in the men in the walnut eating group. And the walnut eaters whose sperm were the worst swimmers at the beginning of the study saw the biggest improvement at the end.
Why am I left thinking that infertile couples will never be told this but will be sold IVF and other ridiculous “solutions” at vast expense?