October 07 2008 / by Lani
Category: Health & Medicine Year: Beyond Rating: 8 Hot
Here’s another good reason to lay off that super-sized combo with extra fries: bad sperm. Besides being the cause of diabetes, heart disease, and back problems, a large waistline can also affect fertility. And not in a good way.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen conducted a study involving the sperm of more than 2,000 men who were having trouble conceiving. The results, presented at a recent conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, revealed a substantial difference between the sperm of obese men and those of normal weight. The men were divided into four different groups, depending on Body Mass Index. Men with an optimal BMI of 20 to 25 had a healthy level of normal sperm, while the opposite occurred with heavier men. Findings show obese men produce more abnormal sperm as well as lower volumes of seminal fluid.
Scientists have several theories about the link between obesity and poor sperm quality. Lifestyle is a large factor. A fit and healthy man has more chances of conceiving than not. Dr. Ghiyath Shayeb, the lead researcher, points to different hormone levels or overheating of the testicles due to excess fat as possible explanations. Fortunately, chances of conceiving aren’t all lost. A female with normal fertility can compensate.
The affects of obesity on sperm quality and overall birth remain to be seen particularly in the West where obesity is endemic. If the trend continues, lower fertility rates could ultimately mean lower population. However, a bevy of new advancements in fertility, fitness, and prevention bode well for the future.