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October 16, 2013
BOSTONRed meat consumption has been shown to decrease sperm morphology, or the sperm's shape/structure, which decreases the quality of the sperm and can cause issues related to infertility. Good news, however, reports men need not worry about the effects of caffeine or alcohol consumption on sperm count.
For optimum sperm quality and quantity, research presented at the International Federation of Fertility Societies/American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting in Boston suggests men consume less red meat, increase white and dark meat fish consumption and pay no heed to alcohol or caffeine consumption.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated the relationship between meat intake and semen parameters to determine if meat intake is associated with semen quality. The results of the study, published in Fertility and Sterility, conclude processed meat intake was associated with lower percent morphologically normal sperm. White meat fish intake was associated with higher percent morphologically normal sperm, while dark meat fish intake was related to higher total sperm count.
Harvard University investigators found in a different study that caffeine and alcohol consumption were both unrelated to semen quality parameters, such as sperm count and motility.
Another study presented at the meeting, also published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, further supports this research. Researchers investigated coffee consumption and semen quality, and concluded that caffeine consumption did not have a detrimental effect on semen quality. In some areas caffeine actually showed a positive effect, including higher semen volume and lower risk of elevated fragmentation. Semen concentration was lower among caffeine drinkers. No relationship was observed for motility and morphology.
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