November 2018. Infertility is a major clinical concern, affecting 15% of all reproductive-age couples. Pollution, smoking and trends toward a Western-style diet (generally characterized by processed and refined foods, high in sugar, salt, saturated fat and protein from processed and red meat) are hypothesized as potential causes of infertility.

Nuts have an interesting nutrient profile,which has been found to beinvolved in the modulation of several mechanismsthat could also be linked to male fertility. For this reason, this study, recently published inThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,evaluated the effect of chronic consumption of a 60 g/day mixture of tree nuts(30 g of walnuts, 15 g of almonds and 15 g of hazelnuts) on several sperm quality parameters[i].

The119 healthy males, aged 18-35,included in the randomized, controlled study were assignedto either a group that followed their usual Western-style diet supplemented with 60 g/day of tree nuts (nut group), or to a group that followed their usual Western-style diet, avoiding the consumption of nuts (control group).

Samples and dietary information werecollected in four visits throughout the 14 weeks of intervention.Sperm quality parameterswere compared between the nut group and the control group, and results showed that nut consumershad an improvement in those parameters when compared with non-nut consumers.

The study concludedthat the supplementation of a Western-style diet with nutsimproved sperm quality parameters among healthy reproductive-aged people.

“Regular consumption of nuts seems to improve sperm quality by decreasing DNA fragmentation,” said Dr. Mònica Bulló, researcherat Rovira i Virgili University and principalinvestigator of this research.

This study was supported by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.

About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council

INC members include more than 800 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 70 countries. INC is the leading international organization regarding health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, international standards and regulations in the nut and dried fruit sector.

[i] Salas-Huetos, A., Moraleda, R., Giardina, S., Anton, E., Blanco, J., Salas-Salvadó, J., Bulló, M. (2018). Effect of nut consumption on semen quality and functionality in healthy men consuming a Western-style diet: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.