There are already countless reasons to cut out junk from our diets, but a study at Harvard University has given us yet another, tells the New York Post.
Here's the deal:
A diet high in fatty, processed foods can cause irreversible damage to sperm, and it can happen early.
Men ages 18 to 20, made up the participants in the study, which measured sperm health in nearly 3,000 men.
Researchers found that vegetarian men or those with diets high in fruit, vegetables, and lean meats like chicken and fish had higher sperm counts than men who ate primarily processed, fatty foods high in sugar and sodium.
According to the World Health Organization, normal sperm count should contain 39 million sperm or more per ejaculate. The subjects studied who ate a diet of junk food reportedly produced 25.6 million fewer sperm than those with healthy eating habits.
Even the young men who reported being fit and physically active were prone to the same results.
“The concern would be that poor diet younger in life will make a change that sticks with you,” says fertility expert Professor Allan Pacey of Sheffield University. "It's almost certain that this is down to the effect that those with the better diets are taking in more antioxidants."
A healthier diet equals more antioxidants, while menus of junk food cause a rise in oxidative stress. It's this stress which causes damage to the body's Sertoli cells, the cells responsible for sperm production.
Sperm health can improve over time; however, Sertoli cells don't regenerate. The bottom line is, even if you eat better later in life, eating junk food can damage sperm production permanently.
The Bottom Line?
If hearing the pitter-pattering of little feet around the house is on your agenda down the road, watching what you eat right now is essential.
An added bonus?
You'll have the energy to keep up!
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