Consuming walnuts every day could help to improve the quality of semen in young men, according to new research data.
The study — published in Biology of Reproduction — investigates whether increasing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), that are critical for sperm maturation and membrane function, would increase sperm quality in men consuming a Western-style diet.
Led by Dr Wendie Robbins at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, the research team reveals that eating 75 grams of walnuts a day improves the vitality, motility, and morphology of sperm in healthy men aged 21 to 35.
“Improved semen quality was associated with increases in blood serum omega-6 FA and in the plant source of omega-3 (ALA) but not with other omega-3s,” reveal Robbins and her colleagues.
“Whether adding walnuts to the diet will go beyond the shifts in sperm parameters as seen in this study to improving birth outcomes for men within fertility clinic populations or in the general population is not yet known and will require further research,” they note.
The study, which was supported by the California Walnut Commission, assessed the quality of 117 healthy men between the ages of 21 and 35. Robbins and her team split the men into two groups, with 58 avoiding consumption of all tree nuts, whilst 59 consumed 75 grams of walnuts per day for 12 weeks.
Previous studies have indicated that 75 grams of walnuts is a consumption level at which blood lipid levels would change, but at which healthy young men would not gain weight, note the researchers.
The participants semen quality was analyzed according to conventional parameters of male fertility, including sperm concentration, vitality, motility, morphology, and chromosome abnormalities.