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Does Diet Affect Sperm?

Boys is it time to give up beer and burgers in order to boost your fertility? Professor Allan Pacey explains the impact that diet plays on male fertility and gives advice on how you can improve your chances of making a baby.


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0:02 There's certainly a lot of evidence that diet does play a role in the quality of
0:09 a man's sperm or the quality of his semen generally. Many studies have been
0:14 done looking at what men eat and comparing that with the
0:19 quality of the sperm that they then ejaculate and a few things become
0:23 apparent.
0:24 If you look at men who eat a lot of antioxidants and compare their sperm
0:31 to men who eat less antioxidants, then the men who eat more antioxidants always
0:37 seem to have better sperm.
0:39 We can also correlate sperm quality with intake of things like zinc and things
0:46 like folic acid and there are some studies supporting selenium is being one
0:50 of the important things for sperm production.
0:52 Now the question is to what extent a man should change their diets in order to
1:00 perhaps give their sperm production a boost.
1:02 That's maybe the wrong question because you can eat too much of things sometimes
1:08 and not enough of other things. I think for most men a balanced healthy diet is
1:15 probably what they should be looking at
1:17 and they should be looking at eating their five portions of fruit and
1:20 vegetables a day and there should be looking to have a balanced diet across
1:24 all different food groups.
1:26 Some men find that difficult however and if a man does find it difficult or he's
1:32 finding he
1:33 doesn't have the time to eat five portions of fruit and veg today, I'd say
1:37 try and make some time but in the short term certainly taking supplements and
1:43 taking vitamins probably would help to fill that deficit. If there's a deficit
1:50 in his diet quite what formulation of vitamins or minerals are most
1:56 appropriate I'm not sure and I don't think the jury has made a conclusion of
2:00 that yet but if you know that your diet is deficient in some way or you suspect
2:05 your diet is deficient in one aspect of vitamins or minerals in
2:10 some way then certainly taking
2:13 a supplement in the three or four months prior to trying for a baby will do no
2:18 harm.