Overweight men who lose weight could end up DOUBLING their sperm count, a new study has found.
All male participants were put on an eight-week diet, consisting of just 800 calories a day. Those who dropped 16.5kg were able to increase their sperm count by 41%.
Those who kept it off for a year found their sperm count doubled and those who put the weight back on “lost the improvements in semen quality.”
Scientists have called this discovery ‘surprising’.
Men who lose weight could double their sperm count
Researchers at Copenhagen University led the study into sperm count, which appears to be declining since the 1970s, with many experts blaming bigger waistlines, poor diets and even exposure to pollution for this worrying trend.
Data has found that sperm counts generally decline with age, peaking when a man turns 17 and remaining high until their 40s. Obesity has also been linked to lower testosterone levels.
Lead researcher Professor Signe Torekov said, “It was surprising to us that such a big improvement can be shown in the semen quality in connection with a weight loss.”
Scientists may be a step closer to finding out what causes male infertility
Meanwhile, other scientists may be one step closer to discovering exactly what causes male infertility. Often, men struggle to conceive due to having poor quality sperm or a low sperm count.
But now research has found that a gene known as SYCP2 could be the reason behind why some men suffer from infertility.
The Discovery of a new gene that may be the cause of male infertility
Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a genetic abnormality in a patient they treated for fertility for two years. They then found the same abnormality in three other men.
“We hope that our evidence will contribute to this gene being in panels for diagnosis of male infertility,” said author Cynthia Morton, a medical geneticist at the Brigham.
“Infertility is a big problem for young people, and 40% to 72% of men lack a diagnosis.”
“This means that we have a lot of gene finding to do. My lab has a longstanding interest in studying individuals who have a balanced chromosome rearrangement where two chromosome segments swap places.”
“In this case, it led us to an important discovery.”
Male infertility affects around one in five men in Australia.
More about male infertility
A man is considered infertile after 12 months of unprotected sex.
Male infertility is usually the result of poor sperm or low numbers of sperm.
A man may experience sperm problems if they have a hormonal problem, such as too little testosterone, a genetic problem or has had certain infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases.
Other factors that could cause male infertility include:
- Age, sperm decrease as men get older
- Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Vasectomy reversal develops antibodies against the sperm
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Being overweight
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