Eating Nuts Leads to Changes in Sperm DNA Function
or men, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just good for their wellbeing but can also influence their ability to have kids. A proper diet can affect the sperm quality of a man, for better or worse. A new study says adding nuts to the mix can play a crucial role in keeping men fertile. The findings of the study are published in the journal Andrology.
A research team from the Universitat Rovira I Virgili states that consuming a mixture of tree nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts can profoundly affect sperm DNA methylation. This process refers to the natural changes your DNA goes through, which don’t actually modify human DNA sequences. DNA methylation often prevents specific genes from expressing themselves. This, for instance, may stop tumor-causing genes from turning themselves on and causing cancer.
‘Men who add nuts to the diet can significantly improve sperm quality.
Study authors analyzed 72 healthy, non-smoking men from the FERTINUTS trial. 48 of the participants added a mix of nuts to their Western-style diets for around 14 weeks. The other 24 men acted as a control group, as researchers observed their sperm quality.
The results reveal that including tree nuts in a man’s diet dramatically improves sperm count, motility, viability, and morphology. Researchers note that the methylation in 36 genomic regions associated with sperm DNA had been significantly modified in the participants eating nuts during the experiment. Nearly all of these men (97.2%) exhibited hypermethylation in their sperm DNA regions.
“This work demonstrates that there are some sensitive regions of the sperm epigenome that react to diet, and which can result in changes in sperm and in its ability to fertilize,” states Salas-Huetos, the study’s first author.